Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Stephen Toal was called to the Bar in 2013 after practicing for 7 years as a solicitor advocate. During his career he has appeared in a large volume of serious criminal trials for murder, fraud, sexual offences and offences under the terrorism legislation. During this time Stephen has been instructed in a number of high profile cases, including appearing as Paddy Jackson’s barrister when the Irish international rugby player was unanimously acquitted of false accusations of sexual offences in what many have described as the most high profile case in Irish legal history. Stephen also represented Martin Rogan, former professional heavyweight boxing champion, when he was prosecuted for perverting the course of justice. Stephen has also appeared in many complex fraud cases and is presently instructed in the largest ever fraud prosecution in the jurisdiction.
Stephen has also established a successful appellate practice where he is regularly instructed to appear in the Court of Appeal, which often involves appeals against wrongful convictions for murder and other serious offences. As part of Stephen’s appellate practice he has appeared in a number of cases that have resulted in the convictions being overturned, including miscarriages of justice that occurred over 20 years ago.
Stephen also practices extensively in civil law matters, including regulatory tribunals, human rights, prison law, inquests, banking law, commercial law and extradition. Stephen litigates public law matters and human rights violations by way of judicial review and in civil claims. In the context of judicial review proceedings, Stephen has successfully appeared at all levels in the jurisdiction. Stephen was instructed to represent Fine Point Films and journalist, Trevor Birney, in a judicial review challenge arising from the arrest of the high profile journalist in connection with the documentary ’No Stone Unturned’, which was made by Oscar winning director, Alex Gibney. Winning this case was a significant victory in terms of protecting the freedom of the press and it was publicly supported by a number of celebrities from all over the world and it was also openly supported by several members of parliament.
In terms of civil litigation, Stephen has developed a specialism in dealing with litigation arising from the Troubles. Stephen is presently instructed in the lead case in the Dublin Monaghan bombings action, in which the State is being sued on behalf of many of the families of the 33 people who were killed. Stephen is also instructed to appear for many other bereaved families in differing communities in their search for justice.
In common with other barristers at the Bar, Stephen is instructed on the basis of a cab rank rule, in that he represents all members of the public, regardless of religious beliefs, political views or sexual orientation.
2003; LL.B with Politics, Queen’s University, Belfast