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Mary-Rachel  McCabe, Barrister , Doughty Street Chambers

Mary-Rachel McCabe

Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers

London, United Kingdom

About Me

Mary-Rachel practises primarily in community care, housing and social welfare and mental health law.

Mary-Rachel has a particular interest in children’s rights. She is currently instructed by Hodge Jones and Allen as junior counsel to Caoilfhionn Gallagher in a judicial review against the London Borough of Islington for its failure to accommodate a vulnerable 14 year old boy when police requests were made, despite legal obligations to do so. The case is supported by the award-winning charity, Just for Kids Law as part of its #NoChildinCells campaign, which calls for an end to the widespread practice of detaining children in adult cells in police stations.  In response to the claim, Islington has now stated that it has decided to set up a formal review of the issue.

Prior to joining the Bar, Mary-Rachel worked as a paralegal in the youth justice and strategic litigation team at Just for Kids Law, where she worked on the 'Still a child at 17' campaign with Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Martha Spurrier and Kate O’Raghallaigh, which led to a change in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 in order to extend vital safeguards to 17 year olds in police detention. She also worked on Just for Kids Law’s interventions in the case of PD v Merseyside Police [2015] EWCA Civ 114, which held that children are entitled to an appropriate adult when they are being stripped by the police for their own protection, and in the landmark Supreme Court case on joint enterprise, R v Jogee [UKSC 2015/0015].

Mary-Rachel is committed to equal access to justice for all, and has been actively involved in the Justice Alliance campaign against ongoing cuts to legal aid since its inception in 2013. 

In her spare time, Mary-Rachel writes on legal and justice issues for www.thejusticegap.com and other legal publications. She was shortlisted for the Halsbury Legal Journalism award in 2015.

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