Michael Mansfield QC was called to the Bar in 1967. He then established Tooks Chambers in 1984 and became Queen’s Counsel in 1989.
Michael has represented defendants in criminal trials, appeals and inquiries in some of the most controversial legal cases the country has seen, particularly where issues of Civil Liberty have arisen.
Barry George, accused of killing TV presenter Jill Dando; the family of Stephen Lawrence both in the private prosecution for murder and the Public Inquiry and the families of victims at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in Derry and London. He also chaired an Inquiry into the “Shoot to Kill” policy in the North of Ireland at Cullyhanna.
More recently he has successfully represented, Fatmir Limaj, the Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague; successfully represented clients in the notable “Ricin” Trial, and “Shaken Baby” Appeals and Nabeel Hussain in the so-called “Fertiliser plot” trial; has acted for the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, shot by the Metropolitan Police in 2005 and Mohammed Al Fayed in his pursuit of the truth surrounding the death of his son, Dodi, and Princess Diana in Paris in 1997 as well as being involved in helping the family of solicitor Patrick Finucane, shot by agents of the British state, to seek a public judicial inquiry. Currently representing
the family of Laurence Rush whose wife was killed in the Omagh bombing in his action against the Police in Northern Ireland and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Michael has represented many families at Inquests, including Tom Hurndall and James Miller, two British journalists murdered by the Israeli army, the Marchioness Disaster, the Deptford/New Cross Fire; the Lockerbie/ Dublin Monaghan bombings, and Michael Barrymore.
Michael’s past clients include: Angry Brigade; Phone Freak Network; Endell Street Squat; Incitement to Disaffection; Welsh Arson Conspiracy; QEII Conspiracy; Price Sisters; Persons Unknown; Armenian Dissidents. Angela Cannings, the acquitted ‘cot death’ mother; Tahira Tabassum, acquitted widow of the first British suicide bomber in Israel; the Orgreave miners who were unjustly accused of riot during the miner’s strike in 1984 and Arthur Scargill. The Birmingham Six, who were released in 1991, nearly sixteen years after being wrongly convicted followed by the Cardiff Three; the Tottenham Three; the Winchester Three; the Bridgewater Four; the Cardiff Newsagents murder Appeal. Those in the ABC Official Secrets case and the Operation Julie drugs trial; Searle and others (cannabis joint possession); Ameer and Lucas (cannabis recycling). James Hanratty, hanged in 1962 for murder; Mattan executed for murder but exonerated on Appeal; ‘spy’ Michael Bettany; Frank Critchlow and the Mangrove; the Bradford 12 and the Newham 7 against the National Front; Tottenham Riots trial; Dr O’Shea; Brighton Bombing and Resorts Conspiracy, Sikh Conspiracy to murder Indian Prime Minister. Robbers in the Knightsbridge Heist; Ronnie Knight; cases related to Operation Countryman; Colin Wallace, The “Camberwell”, ‘Torso’, ‘Big H”, M25, Eddie Gilfoyle, Morris murder trials and Appeals; Judith Ward; Iraqi dissidents fleeing Saddam Hussein; Turkish and Kurdish exiles; Palestinians charged with the Israeli Embassy bombing in London and Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain.
The White Moor escape; Risley riots; Strangeways riots. The Cambridge Two (community workers); the Veal Crate Protest; Poll Tax riots.
Advising the McLibel Two and the Sea Empress disaster. Saajid Badat; Patel.
Cases involving issues of forensic science — Angela Weir (handwriting); McFadden, McNamee and McNamara (all fingerprint cases); Kempster (ear prints); Kevin Callan (neuro-pathology); Simon Hall (fibres); Ian & Angela Gay (salt poisoning); Lorraine Harris and four others (SIDS and shaken-baby), Pendleton (fresh evidence House of Lords); re. ‘P’ (similar fact evidence joint trials House of Lords); Deen and Hanratty (DNA); Power, Ward (explosives). And Superintendent Ali Dizaei in two Trials and an Appeal.
He has presented submissions to the UN HRC in Geneva on Israeli human rights violations and to a subcommittee of the UN GA in New York.
He represented Alfie Meadows re the student demonstrations in London 2010.
Michael has been engaged in assisting a team of Canadian lawyers mounting a challenge in relation to the Tar Sands environmental disaster on behalf of the Cree Nation.
Michael led the prosecution at the Ecocide mock trial at the Supreme Court in September 2011.
In June 2013 he chaired the Lewisham People’s Commission of Inquiry concerning Lewisham Hospital.
Judicial & Academic Appointments
Professor of Law at City University
Michael was a judge on the Iran People’s Tribunals.
In the Spring of 2009 Michael was part of an independent lawyers mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) investigating the operation of the military court system, a legacy of the British Mandate
In December 2009 he participated as an expert in a conference on Transitional Justice organised at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Chair of the White Paper Conference 2009 and 2010, Surveillance on Security Matters.
Michael was a member of the jury panel on the Russell Tribunal inquiry into the legal ramifications of Israel’s human rights and humanitarian law violations in Palestine.
Michael was a speaker at the IBA Annual Conference – Peace after terror: rules or reconciliation? held in Dublin in October 2012.
Publications & Training
Michael’s latest book is Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer, published by Bloomsbury, 2009.
A fascinating and passionate record of the author’s major cases in courts, inquests and public inquiries, whose context will be as familiar to the general reader as to the lawyer, and which concerned or raised issues beyond the narrowly legal’
7 hugely admire him This book is not just a show-off catalogue of his greatest hits, It is a shaming, chilling list of injustices.’
A.N:Wilson, Daily Mail
‘A fascinating insight into the mind of a man who has devoted his life to securing the liberty of others It is in the transcripts of his cross examinations where the book really comes alive’
‘An in-depth insight into the skills that make an outstanding barrister … Mansfield is refreshingly lacking in pomposity – surprising in any barrister, let alone such a successful one’
‘Probably the biggest household name at the criminal Bar is Michael Mansfield QC, a sure-fire role model
for students wondering about a career in criminal (or civil rights) law.’
The Times Online, 20 October 2008
‘There is no question that he has been a force for good in this country, and has kept the flag of civil liberties flying when governments would have been very happy to have seen it suppressed. He can’t retire – his country needs him. Carpentry must wait.’
Lynn Barber, ‘A Law unto Himself, Observer, Sunday 19 January 2003
‘Michael Mansfield QC is a die-hard grand old rebel, He has rejected the Labour Party, dismisses Blair as a Tory, and thereby disqualifies himself from the headlong rush of so many of his senior legal contemporaries to sup in the Labour Government trough of power.’
Guardian, 25 October 1997
‘The radical lawyer has become an icon in a disenchanted age … (Mansfield’s) high profile victories take on a hallowed significance: the good guys against the rotten state… with a flourish of his insolence and a refusal to shut up„ they flock to him, the disaffected, the inner city victims, Arthur Scargill, and he looks after them all. The Establishment loathes him.’
Lesley White, One of the Good Guys’, Sunday Times, 6 June 1993
Articles in 2011 include: The Guardian Online Why we are marching on 26* March’, The Guardian Online ‘Barristers Right to Comment’, The Guardian and The Guardian Online ‘The French Resistance’, Government Gazette January 2011 two articles Legal Aid and Russell Tribunal, Politics First Control Orders, Electoral Reform Society Alternative Vote ‘A Purple Spring’ (publication date unknown) and the Role of the CCRC (yet to be published), Professor of Criminal Justice – Kate Moss foreword for book ‘Human Rights: Human Wrongs’ (publication date unknown), Financial Times CCF article ‘How to Give It’, Sunday Times magazine ‘Relative Values’ article 17th April 2011.
Articles in 2010 include: The Times on the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war; two articles on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine for The Times and Socialist Lawyer, an essay for the Justice Gap edited by Jon Robbins; a print debate with Melissa Benn for Red Pepper on the general election. In addition: Forewords to two books – one on the Ricin Trial and the other on the Tichborne Claimant.
Michael has presented a number of television documentaries and series, including Presumed Guilty for BBC1. He is a regular contributor to television and radio current affairs programmes and was a panel member of The Moral Maze for many years. He has also published numerous articles for all the major broadsheets and law journals, a children’s book The Whale Boy and The Home Lawyer – a legal handbook. Over the last few years he has also given a number of successful talks at theatre venues around the country in a series entitled “An Audience with….”
In 2011 he participated in a number of TV and film documentaries – on Bloody Sunday, Legal Aid, Lockerbie, Human Rights Act and Forensic Science.
Media and Interview requests for Mr Mansfield should be directed to Yvette Greenway
2009: The Monitoring Group Lifetime Achievement Award
2008: Chambers & Partners Lifetime Achievement Award
2007: Association of Muslim Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award
Appointments & Memberships
Founder of Interights
President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers President of Amicus
President of the National Civil Rights Movement
Patron of several other organisations including Viva!, Cambodian Children’s Fund, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights
Education & Qualifications
Keele University Highgate School