Read Fiona’s writing:


The next Windrush: Relentless Home Office immigration fees try to drive out young Brits 6 August 2019

Forced into illegality: Home Office health charge pulverises young people’s hopes of a normal life 19 February 2019

Once a Justice First Fellow, always a Justice First Fellow

What can social justice lawyers here learn from across the Atlantic about innovative ways to fund and deliver legal services? Fiona Bawdon explains, New Law Journal, 31 January 2019

Fighting immigration law advice deserts

Around 500 staff and volunteers at organisations offering support to migrants have undertaken Refugee Action’s ground-breaking online immigration law training. Its aim is to increase the number of accredited advisers nationwide, to ensure more vulnerable people have access to high quality legal advice. Fiona Bawdon reports, JusticeGap, 16 January 2019

‘There’s a clear connection between unresolved legal problems and ill health

UCL is conducting research into how social welfare law problems can damage health, and how doctors and lawyers can work together to help make people better. Fiona Bawdon explains, JusticeGap, 10 January 2019

Introducing FLOWS: Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors

Fiona Bawdon reports on how a Justice First Fellow’s project helped RCJ Advice in central London secure £1.1m funding to ensure more domestic violence victims nationwide can get legal protection, JusticeGap, 14 December 2018

Legal life-changers spread their wings

The first two cohorts of Justice First Fellows have now qualified. Fiona Bawdon looks at how they are faring, New Law Journal, 27 July 2018

Legal life-changers

The Justice First Fellowship is using law to change the world, says Fiona Bawdon, New Law Journal, 27 April 2018

The Windrush scandal shows the urgent need for immigration legal aid

Legal aid for immigration work was scrapped in 2012. That decision needs to be reversed, 25 April 2018

Windrush generation: ‘The PM can’t say she wasn’t warned’

JusticeGap, 23 April 2018

Legal aid agency in ‘denial’ over flawed digital billing scheme

A year after it was rolled out, problems with CCMS continue unabated, says Fiona Bawdon, Legal Voice, 6 February 2017

Phil Shiner: loathed by the tabloids, respected by his peers

Although Al-Sweady will be written on PIL’s tombstone, it is the Baha Mousa case for which it should be remembered. Fiona Bawdon looks back on the career of Phil Shiner, Legal Voice, 16 September 2016

Makbool Javaid interview: Sadiq Khan’s former brother-in-law speaks out, 18 April 2016

‘Military precision and a lion heart’

Marcia Willis-Stewart has handled some of the biggest cases of recent times – de Menezes, Duggan, Hillsborough – but the one that sticks most in her mind is of a man wrongly accused of shoplifting who wanted more than just tea and sympathy. Fiona Bawdon reports, Legal Action, October 2015

The Invisible

Souvenir programme to mark Oscar-winner Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s play at Bush Theatre, July 2015

The ‘ricin’ terror plot that never was

Justice in a time of moral panic, Justice Gap, May 2015

Chasing status. If not British, what am I?

The ‘Surprised Brits’ who find they are living with irregular immigration status.’ Report by Fiona Bawdon, Legal Action Group, October 2014

‘The unintended victims of a hostile environment’

LAG’s Chasing Status research aims to tell the stories of people with irregular immigration status. Some will have lived and worked in the UK nearly all their lives, unaware of their lack of status, or their risk of removal to a country they last saw decades ago. Fiona Bawdon, the journalist behind the study reports, Legal Action, October 2014

‘Ignorance is the greatest threat to gay asylum-seekers’

The award-winning barrister S Chelvan takes his passion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex legal rights from the courtroom into the public sphere. Fiona Bawdon spoke to him, Legal Action, September 2014

Detained children need secure facilities, not police stations

Budget cuts mean more children are being kept overnight in inappropriate locations, with tragic consequences, Guardian Comment is Free, 19 August 2014

Councils struggle with 10-fold increase in deprivation of liberty assessments

Costs of assessing when mentally vulnerable patients can be detained in hospitals and care homes soar following supreme court ruling, Guardian Society, 5 August 2014

Comment: The loophole that allows police to treat 17 year olds as adults, 29 July 2014

We are many; they are few’

The leading civil liberties firm Birnberg Peirce had a brace of winners at last month’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards: newcomer Camilla Graham Wood; and legal aid champion Matt Foot. Both are stalwarts of the groundbreaking Justice Alliance campaign, which has mobilised support for legal aid in a way never seen before. Fiona Bawdon met them, Legal Action, July/August 2014

Nicola Mackintosh: ‘The client is the core of everything I do’

Pioneering community care lawyer, Nicola Mackintosh, has been made an honorary QC after years of tirelessly defending the rights of vulnerable people, Guardian, 16 April 2014 

The view from the legal aid trenches post-LASPO

One year on from the introduction of the main provisions of the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders (LASPO)  Act 2012, what is life like for those on the legal aid frontline? Fiona Bawdon finds that the cuts have firms battle-weary and feeling under siege from the Legal Aid Agency, Legal Action, April 2014

‘My advocacy is more of the Mike Tyson school of boxing’

Black QCs are still rare: next week Leslie Thomas becomes one of them. Interview by Fiona Bawdon,  Times, 10 April 2014 

Human Rights Act: a charter for victims not villains

Keir Starmer QC used the 2013 LAG lecture to make a robust defence of human rights legislation and its role in protecting victims. The former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who was awarded a knighthood for services to law and criminal justice in the New Year Honours list, talked about his ‘most difficult case’ during his time in the post and the challenge of dealing with the rise in use of social media,  Legal Action magazine, February 2014

‘…this is England. This should not be happening’

People with irregular immigration status are often a world away from the stereotypical ‘illegal immigrant’ of tabloid imagination. Some will have lived and worked in the UK nearly all their lives, unaware of their lack of status, or their risk of deportation to a country they last saw decades ago. LAG’s ‘Chasing Status’ research aims to tell their stories. Fiona Bawdon, the journalist behind the study, explains,  Legal Action magazine, December 2013/January 2014

Chasing Status: ‘If not British, what am I?’

The ‘surprised Brits’ who find they are living with irregular immigration status. Report by Fiona Bawdon, Legal Action Group, October 2014

The privilege of acting for bereaved families

Raju Bhatt, recognised for outstanding achievement at this year’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, may not think of himself as a ‘real lawyer,’ but his victories against state bodies are genuine enough. Fiona Bawdon spoke to him, Legal Action magazine, November 2013

For legal aid lawyers, it’s all about the clients

Civil liberties lawyer, Raju Bhatt, honoured for outstanding achievement at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, Guardian Law, 10 July 2013

The Work Programme helped me get a job – and then nearly lose it

I had my benefits stopped for missing a routine appointment despite getting a job – so almost couldn’t fulfil its requirements, by Philip Emans (interview by Fiona Bawdon), Guardian: The cuts get personal, 4 July 2013

Why aren’t sexual abuse reforms being applied to asylum-seekers?

According to Asylum Aid, may rape victims face a culture of disbelief, Guardian Law, 8 March 2013

Model charity: ‘whatever happens, we’ll carry on, but it won’t be easy’

Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group, which supports destitute refugees, may be hit by sweeping legal aid cuts, Guardian Law, 11 December 2012

UKBA and judicial review: let’s make the link

Damning border agency report explains judicial review clampdown – immigration lawyers say often only way to force a decision, Guardian Law, 23 November 2012

Contradictory cuts to legal aid

By cutting legal aid in immigration cases the government is forcing vulnerable individuals to go to court on their own to argue complex cases when it otherwise only allows authorised legal advisers to do so, Solicitors Journal, 30 October 2012

Rapid riot prosecutions more important than long sentences, says Keir Starmer

Director of Public Prosecutions challenges received wisdom that heavy sentences for rioters worked as an effective deterrence, Guardian, 3 July 2012

Riot sentencing put ‘nice kids’ behind bars, lawyers say

Sentencing rulebook was ‘torn up and thrown away’, magistrate says, but prosecutors argue harsher sentences were justified, Guardian, 3 July 2012

Courtroom profiles: ‘I think the lives of all of us have changed’

Reading the Riots spoke to people with various experiences of the justice system, including a judge, lawyers and a looter, Guardian, 3 July 2012

Chaos in the courts as justice system rushed to restore order

Prosectors speak of their pride in the way CPS and the courts rose to the unprecedented challenge of the English riots, but defence lawyers tell a story of panic and paralysis, Guardian, 3 July 2012

Amid the riots, handshakes and Hobnobs cheered the police

Officers used to abuse on the job say the offers of tea, biscuits and flowers were rewarding – if shortlived, Guardian, 2 July 2012

What do you get when you add ‘legal aid’ to ‘glittering occasion’?

Given the pressure legal aid advocates are under, it was generous to honour Doreen Lawrence, a non-lawyer, at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards Guardian Law, 13 June 2012

Deighton Guedalla and Pierce Glynn merge

On 1 May, two ground-breaking civil liberties firms merged, in what is described as a ‘civil partnership between public and private law claims’. Here, Fiona Bawdon, a freelance journalist, describes the background to the move Legal Action, May 2012

Civil liberties merger will lead challenges to government spending cuts

Deighton Pierce Glynn hopes move will increase innovation and spread risk  in face of legal aid cuts  Guardian Law, 1 May 2012

Pawnbroker targeted in riots is given hope of compensation for customers

London mayor’s office steps in after customers of Tottenham shop faced missing out on compensation for stolen jewellery  Guardian, 9 May 2012

The prince and the pawnbroker who lost his livelihood in the riot rubble

When Steve Moore’s shop in Tottenham was torched, he expected to be back in business quickly. But £500,000 of jewellery vanished  Guardian, 25 April 2012

 The Stephen Lawrence legacy

It became the case that changed Britain, but it began life as the case that was most likely going nowhere. Not even those most closely associated with the Stephen Lawrence case could have predicted that police failure to investigate properly the racist murder of an 18-year-old student would spark such widespread and profound changes, not just to the legal system but to society more generally  Legal Action magazine, April 2012

Verdict on UK riots: people need a ‘stake in society’, says report

Panel concludes that riots were fuelled by a lack of opportunities for young people, poor parenting and suspicion of the police Guardian, 28 March 2012

Oxford law graduate cleared of role in London riot

Jury took just 30 minutes to find Fahim Alam not guilty of involvement in Hackney disturbances Guardian, 25 March 2012

scorched earth approach to the legal aid bill

Legal Action magazine, March 2012

David Lammy condemns police for failing to show up at riots meeting

Guardian, 7 February 2012

Advice agencies in crisis: ‘We will just disappear. No one will notice.’

While campaigners fight for agencies such as Citizens Advice Bureaux, who will fight for smaller agencies? Guardian, 3 February 2012

London Advice Watch

Findings of a research project on provision of social welfare law advice in London

C0-written with Steve Hynes; published by Legal Action Group, January 2012; funded by Trust for London

English riots: all night courts praised, but were they a publicity stunt?

We need help from those involved in dealing with riot cases who are willing to be interviewed for phase two of the Reading the Riots research, Guardian, 22 December 2011

Don’t blame our parents, say rioters

Those seeking to explain the riots often cited bad parenting as a major factor. Most of our interviewees disagreed, Guardian, 6 December 2011

English riots: sentence severity for young offenders worries prosecutors

Lives of young people with no previous convictions being ruined at taxpayers’ expense says senior prosecutor, Guardian, 2 December 2011

Co-operative Legal Services to enter family law market

Legal Action magazine, December 2011

No more Law for All

Legal Action magazine, November 2011

Co-op capture of legal aid experts could be ‘Wapping moment’ for family law

Co-operative legal service aims to offer fixed price family law service and embrace those who no longer qualify for legal aid, Guardian, 10 November 2011

Courts mistreating cases as riot-related, says defence lawyer

Is a Tottenham solicitor alone in having clients charged as part of riots despite having no connection other than being in the same borough? Guardian, 26 September 2011

‘For the Left it’s about race and for the Right it’s about law and order

Imran Khan talks to Fiona Bawdon about the Stephen Lawrence case, which made his name, Times 25 August 2011

Vilifying lawyers defending a ‘killer’ is a dangerous trend

Media disgust with QC who cross-examined Dowler family is a blurring of lines that can lead to personal attacks on lawyers, Guardian Law, 7 July 2011

Legal aid awards: Doreen Lawrence presents prizes at upbeat ceremony Guardian Law, 29 June 2011

A friendship that crossed the threshold

What happened when an Algerian asylum seeker acquitted in the ricin plot met ‘Mr Normal’? Guardian, 1 February 2011

Legal aid delays deny patients access to mental health tribunals Legal Action, February 2010

Toxic state

Fiona Bawdon reports on the aftermath of the ‘ricin trial’, Red Pepper, February 2011

Mental health patients face legal aid delay

People with mental health problems have been denied access to tribunal lawyers due to quota system limiting the use of legal aid, Guardian, 9 November 2010

David Burgess obituary

Influential lawyer and tenacious defender of asylum seekers’ rights,  Guardian, 2 November 2010

Open door: Guardian readers’ editor on Fiona’s ‘fine obituary’ of David Burgess Guardian 8 November 2010

Simon Cowell, unlikely saviour of teenage boys

TV talent shows stand nearly alone in the media as providing positive role models for young men,  Guardian, 11 October 2010

Ferrals and fossils

Observations on stereotypes, New Statesman, 26 March 2009

Trial by tabloid for Ripper’s lawyer

Dispatches, Guardian, 23 June 2008

No model for girls

There is now solid evidence that images of super-thin celebrities in the media have a direct effect on the wellbeing of teenagers New Statesman, 27 September 2007

Unhealthy punishment

Observations on the ricin plot, New Statesman, 15 January 2007

Sexist coverage from the front line

Dispatches, Guardian, 20 November 2006


3 Comments (+add yours?)

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