Maya Sikand

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Maya Sikand is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers and was called to the Bar in 1997. She has a predominantly public law/civil liberties practice, which includes judicial review, prison law, claims against the police and other public authorities, inquests and civil orders. She also has a specialist crime and extradition practice. She was instructed as junior counsel in the Supreme Court in the controversial Judicial Review case (Hookway) where the High Court ruled that police officers could not bail suspects for more than 96 hours without either charging or releasing them, when the previous interpretation of the law (PACE) had allowed them to bail suspects for weeks, even months. The case led to emergency legislation, the Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011, being passed at a significantly expedited speed. Maya, who is committed to the abolition of the death penalty, continues with her pro bono work and represents those convicted of capital offences in the Caribbean before the Privy Council. She graduated in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and obtained her Master's in Race and Ethnic Relations in London. Maya spent five years in the voluntary sector, working in refuges with women and children fleeing domestic violence and sexual abuse before turning to the Law. She began her legal career as junior counsel for the Commission for Racial Equality in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry in 1998, in particular writing the closing submissions on the issue of institutional racism. Maya was a finalist in the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards in 2008, nominated for her work in the youth justice system.

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