BARRISTER & SOLICITOR LOG IN

Barrister Profile

JAMES TOAL

Year of Call: 2015

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Criminal Law
Human Rights
Personal Injury

Biography

I have a varied practice principally in criminal law, appearing as defence counsel in criminal matters on a daily basis. I have experience of a wide range of other areas of practice including personal injury matters, extradition, civil harassment injunctions, and public law. I am a member of the GLS Counsel Panel and the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel Panel. I have experience of advising public sector bodies in relation to matters of public law and public sector contracts. I am currently instructed as part of the team of counsel to the ongoing Muckamore Abbey Hospital Inquiry.

I am currently treasurer to the Criminal Bar Association. I have previously served as chair of the Young Bar Association (2018-2020) and was a member of the Bar Council from 2018 to 2022. I am currently a member of the Bar’s CPD and Education Committees.

From 2016 to 2021, I acted as a tutor and examiner at the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast, in relation to various undergraduate modules concerning human rights, judicial review, evidence, and legal methods and skills, as well as delivering
lectures in relation to oral and written advocacy to first year law students and judging student moots.

LAMS Supplier Reference No. 1000404

Qualifications

2014; LL.B. Law with French (First Class Honours), Queen’s University Belfast

2012-13; Erasmus Study Programme - French and European Law, Université de Toulouse 1 Capitole

2014; Certificate of Distinction in Spoken French, Queen’s University Belfast

2015; Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies (Commendation), Institute of Professional Legal Studies

2015; Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland

2018; Appointed to the Government Civil D Panel

2018; Called to the Bar of Ireland

Professional Memberships and Awards

Experience

R v Doherty, Declan [2018] NICA 52 – acting for the appellant before the Court of Appeal in an appeal against sentence for dangerous driving causing grievous bodily injury. Original sentence of 3½ years reduced on appeal to 2¼ years. The case concerned: the distinction between English authority in R v Cooksley [2003] EWCA Crim 996 and Northern Ireland authority in AG’s References (Nos 2, 6, 7 and 8 of 2003) [2003] NICA 28; whether the standard of driving can itself be an aggravating factor; the weight to be given to historic driving convictions as a teenager in determining the culpability category into which the appellant should be placed.

OA and SA v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2019) - appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber); decision by Home Office to refuse a residence card to the first appellant (a Nigerian national) as an EEA family member; second appellant was the daughter of the first appellant and had Irish citizenship; successfully argued the refusal was unlawful on Human Rights grounds and in breach of the Immigration Rules.

R v D (2020) - Crown Court; dangerous driving by a taxi driver causing grievous bodily injuries to two vulnerable children who were passengers, immediate custody required in all but the most exceptional circumstances; successfully argued exceptional circumstances existed in this case; suspended sentence imposed.