David Pannick, Baron Pannick

David Philip Pannick, Baron Pannick, QC (born 7 March 1956) is a British barrister and a crossbencher in the House of Lords. He practises mainly in the areas of public law and human rights. He has argued cases before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, the European Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights.

The Lord Pannick
Lord Pannick 2020.jpg
Pannick in 2020
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
3 November 2008
Life Peerage
Personal details
David Philip Pannick

(1956-03-07) 7 March 1956 (age 65)
Islington, London, England
Political partyNone (crossbencher)
  • Denise Sloam
    (m. 1978; died 1999)
  • Nathalie Trager-Lewis
    (m. 2003)
EducationBancroft's School
Alma materHertford College, Oxford
OccupationBarrister, peer

Early life and careerEdit

David Philip Pannick was born on 7 March 1956 in Islington, London, England, to Maurice and Rita Pannick.[1][2] He attended Bancroft's School in Woodford Green on a scholarship, and studied law at Hertford College, Oxford, where he graduated with a MA and a BCL degree.[3][4] He was elected as an examination fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, in 1978.[5] He was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1979, and was one of the panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (Common Law) from 1988 to 1992, when he was appointed Queen's Counsel[6] He was also appointed a Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit in 1995,[7] and a deputy High Court judge in 1998.

Pannick has appeared in the courts of Hong Kong, Brunei, Gibraltar, Trinidad, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. He appeared in 100 cases[citation needed] before the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords before its jurisdiction was transferred to the new Supreme Court in October 2009.

As an academicEdit

He has been a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, since 1978, and became an honorary fellow of Hertford College, Oxford, in September 2004. He has written on legal matters for The Times, and was co-author with the late Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC of Human Rights Law and Practice (1st edition 1999; 2nd edition 2004, 3rd edition 2009).


On 29 September 2008, the House of Lords Appointments Commission announced that Pannick had been nominated for a life peerage as a crossbencher.[8][9] His title was gazetted as Baron Pannick, of Radlett in the county of Hertfordshire, dated 3 November 2008.[10]

Noted casesEdit

In the 1980s Pannick appeared for the Sunday Times in the Spycatcher case. He acted for the gay servicemen who established in the European Court of Human Rights in 1999 a finding of unlawful dismissal because of his sexual orientation; represented Camelot PLC in the High Court in 2000 and established that the National Lottery Commission had treated it unfairly in rejecting its application to renew its licence to run the National Lottery; acted for the League Against Cruel Sports in defending a challenge to the validity of the Hunting Act 2004; represented a woman who established that she was entitled to be prescribed with the breast cancer drug Herceptin; and was briefed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its claim to state immunity against claims of torture.[11]

In 2007, Pannick appeared for BBC director-general Mark Thompson when an attempt was made to prosecute the BBC for blasphemy for broadcasting Jerry Springer: The Opera.[12] In July 2008, he represented the British Olympic Committee in successfully resisting in the High Court the claim by athlete Dwain Chambers about the refusal to select him for the Beijing Olympics because of the earlier finding of doping.[13][14] Later that year he represented Debbie Purdy in the Appellate Committee of the Lords (the last judgement given in the House of Lords) to establish the duty of the Director of Public Prosecutions to publish guidelines on prosecuting for assisting a suicide.[15]

More recently Pannick acted for AF, a man subject to a control order, establishing that the Home Secretary had a duty to inform him of the essence of the case against him. He represented the Crown in the Supreme Court in establishing in 2010 that MPs accused of dishonestly claiming expenses were not entitled to the benefit of parliamentary privilege. In January 2011, he represented Max Mosley before the European Court of Human Rights in his claim that the right to privacy obliged the United Kingdom to impose duties on newspapers to give prior notice of a publication invading privacy so the subject could seek an injunction. He appeared for a school (JFS) in the first hearing before the new Supreme Court on 2 October 2009, about the school's admissions policy.[16] In 2011 and 2012, Pannick also represented the Government of Hong Kong in Vallejos v. Commissioner of Registration, a case in which a foreign domestic helper sought judicial review to determine whether it was constitutional for the government to deny her the right of abode in the territory.[17]

In October 2016, he co-wrote a legal opinion commissioned by businessman Philip Green to challenge the conclusions of a parliamentary inquiry which criticised Green's conduct over the collapse of retailer British Home Stores.[18][19]

Also in 2016, Pannick successfully represented Gina Miller in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, an action against the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on whether approval by Parliament was required before the Prime Minister could initiate proceedings under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union to take the UK out of the European Union.[20]

Pannick successfully led the team working on behalf of Gina Miller in R (on the application of Miller) (Appellant) v The Prime Minister (Respondent),[21] arguing against the legality of the Government's prorogation of Parliament in September 2019.[22] In the ruling on the morning of 24 September 2019, the UK supreme court unanimously judged that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson had given unlawful advice to the Queen.[23]

In November 2020, Pannick appeared on behalf of Shamima Begum in the Supreme Court in Begum v Home Secretary, judicial review proceedings brought against the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision not to allow her to return to Britain for legal proceedings regarding the removal of her British citizenship.[24][25]


  • Judicial Review of the Death Penalty (1982, Duckworth)
  • Sex Discrimination Law (1985, Oxford University Press)
  • Judges (1987, Oxford University Press)
  • Advocates (1992, Oxford University Press)
  • Human Rights Law and Practice (general editor with Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC, Butterworths, October 1999, second edition March 2004)
  • I Have to Move My Car: Tales of Unpersuasive Advocates and Injudicious Judges (2008, Hart Publishing)

Personal lifeEdit

He married Denise Sloam in 1978. The couple had two sons and one daughter. She died of cancer in 1999. Pannick married Israeli-born lawyer Nathalie Trager-Lewis in 2003. The couple have two daughters and a son.[1][4][26] He is Jewish.[27]

Hamlyn lectureEdit

In 2021, he delivered the Hamlyn lecture series on the subject of Advocacy.[28]


  1. ^ a b Pannick. A & C Black. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U29998. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  2. ^ "England & Wales Births 1837-2006". Findmypast. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  3. ^ Rubinstein, W.; Jolles, Michael A. (27 January 2011). The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 1441. ISBN 978-0-230-30466-6.
  4. ^ a b Rozenberg, Joshua (9 December 2016). "David Pannick: the lawyer who makes challenging Brexit look easy". The Jewish Chronicle.
  5. ^ "All Souls College Oxford". www.asc.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  6. ^ "No. 52909". The London Gazette. 1 May 1992. pp. 7629–7630.
  7. ^ "No. 53942". The London Gazette. 1 February 1995. p. 1439.
  8. ^ House of Lords Appointments Commission publishes 2007–08 report and announces two new non party political peers, House of Lords Appointments Commission. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
  9. ^ "No. 58848". The London Gazette. 10 October 2008. p. 15551.
  10. ^ "No. 58875". The London Gazette. 6 November 2008. p. 17167.
  11. ^ "Jones v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" (PDF). Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  12. ^ "News".[dead link]
  13. ^ Drugs cheat Dwain Chambers banned from Beijing Olympics
  14. ^ Gibson, Owen (13 December 2011). "BOA bylaw appeal puts David Millar and Dwain Chambers on hold to April". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "Health – MS patient's suicide aid dilemma". BBC News.
  16. ^ R (on the application of E) (Respondent) v Governing Body of JFS and the Admissions Appeal Panel of JFS (Appellants) and others (PDF), retrieved 30 September 2018
  17. ^ Deng, Andrea; Li, Likui; Ming, Yeung (1 October 2011), "SAR govt to appeal right of abode ruling", China Daily, retrieved 21 February 2012
  18. ^ Shah, Oliver, "Philip Green hires QC to fight claim of 'plundering' BHS", The Times, retrieved 2 October 2018
  19. ^ Vandevelde, Mark (18 October 2016). "Philip Green hits back at MPs over BHS demise". Financial Times.
  20. ^ "R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union".
  21. ^ Court, The Supreme. "R (on the application of Miller) (Appellant) v The Prime Minister (Respondent) - The Supreme Court". www.supremecourt.uk. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Supreme Court: Parliament suspended 'to stop MPs frustrating PM', judges told". BBC News. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  23. ^ "In full: Court statement on 'unlawful' suspension". 24 September 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  24. ^ Bowcott, Owen; Sabbagh, Dan (23 November 2020). "Shamima Begum still a national security threat, UK supreme court told". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  25. ^ R (on the application of Begum) (Appellant) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Respondent) R (on the application of Begum) (Respondent) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) Begum (Respondent) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) [2021] UKSC 7 26 February 2021
  26. ^ Rozenberg, Joshua (29 September 2008). "Popular Pannick picked as peoples' peer". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  27. ^ Oryszczuk, Stephen (19 July 2016). "Lawyers acting on Brexit subjected to anti-Semitic abuse". Jewish News. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  28. ^ Pannick, David. "Why we should celebrate our tradition of oral advocacy". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 20 December 2021.

External linksEdit

Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Gentlemen
Baron Pannick
Followed by
The Lord Davies of Abersoch