Eric Metcalfe

Eric Metcalfe is a barrister at Monckton Chambers specialising in public law, EU law and human rights. Called to the Bar in 1999, he spent almost nine years as the director of human rights policy at JUSTICE before joining Monckton in 2011. He is listed by the Legal 500 as a leading junior in the field of Civil Liberties and Human Rights. His most recent cases include R(Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] EWHC 2365 (Admin) and Bingham Centre v Information Commissioner (EA/2014/0097), and he is currently instructed by Liberty in proceedings before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal against the UK intelligence services.


Contributor to the Rights and Freedoms volume of the 5th edition of Halsbury’s Laws (LexisNexis, 2013).

Editor in Chief of the Human Rights Law Reports - UK Cases (Sweet & Maxwell).

Co-author of the 5th edition of Blackstone’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (OUP, 2013).
Contributed to


Dealing with a human rights challenge
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides a toolkit for defending a human rights challenge. It identifies the type and scope of human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act 1998, and considers the relevant duties and process under the UK legislation, with reference to key definitions, principles and defences.

Human rights and statutory construction
Practice notes

This Practice Note outlines the main canons of statutory construction relevant to the protection of human rights in UK law, examining the relevant case law and principles so that legislation drafters can ensure new legislation is drafted in accordance with these principles.

Judicial deference and the margin of appreciation
Practice notes

This Practice Note considers the doctrines of judicial deference and the margin of appreciation in the context of human rights law. Judicial deference (the weight given to the views of Parliament and executive as to proportionality of the interference), and the margin of appreciation (the leeway enjoyed by States to evaluate local needs and conditions impacting on implementing human rights), assist in determining whether a decision on point in a case constitutes a proportionate interference with one or more Convention rights within the competence of the legislature or executive.

Status of Strasbourg case law
Practice notes

This Practice Note considers the law around whether the decisions in cases taken to Strasbourg are binding on the UK. It outlines how the Human Rights Act 1998 gives effect to Convention rights and the extent of the mirror principle.

Other work

Dealing with a human rights challenge—checklist

This checklist provides a step by step guide to dealing with a challenge under the Human Rights Act 1998, including the defences of lawful interference with qualified rights and acting pursuant to legislation.

Practice areas


  • Contributing Author


  • BA, LL.B. (University of Canterbury, NZ), LL.M. (Queens University, Canada), D.Phil (Oxon)

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