Mr Justice Irwin

Retired Justice of Appeal


Sir Stephen Irwin specialised in scientific and medical cases, legal professional negligence, and in silk appeared in a number of criminal cases. The Chairman of the Bar is a highly public figure, often facing conflicting demands. Sir Stephen had to appear frequently on television and radio.

On the Bench Sir Stephen expanded his legal range. He’s dealt extensively with crime, at trial and on appeals. Including difficult sentencing problems such as passing a whole life tariff, and sentencing for causing death by careless driving, where a family of six had all been killed. Sir Stephen sat in the Administrative Court for 9 years, dealing with immigration and asylum, immigration detention, extradition, prison cases, medical and professional discipline, education, health provision, the regulation of advertising, the implementation of EU Directives, prosecutorial decisions, and more. He also sat on a wide range of tort and contract cases. As Chair of SIAC, he faced unusual legal challenges, derived from the parallel open and closed hearings, dealing with Top Secret evidence in every case.

In the Court of Appeal, Sir Stephen sat on the whole range of cases, including extradition, immigration, crime, national security, family and property.

Publications: Lead author of Medical Negligence Litigation: a Practitioner’s Guide Legal Action Group, March 1995, and author of a chapter in Personal Injury Handbook, Sweet & Maxwell, December 2000. Consulting editor of the UK Human Rights Law Reports. Numerous articles and lectures.