Lord Gifford QC was guest speaker this week at a function held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the North Kensington Law Centre.
Lord Gifford had been the co-founder of the centre, with Peter Kandler who was its first in-house solicitor.
Lord Gifford and Peter Kandler recalled the impact of the centre on the local police, local landlords, and the local authority. The centre pioneered the concept of a duty solicitor service so that arrested persons had representation within hours. Illegal evictions were met with injunctions. Disrepair in local authority housing was exposed.
The centre was considered subversive by some. But as Lord Gifford said, “justice will always be subversive to those who abuse power.”
There are now over 50 Law Centres in Britain and over 200 in Australia and other countries.
Lord Gifford QC, who represented the family of Jim Wray at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, shared the moment of vindication of Jim Wray’s innocence with his four brothers and one sister, when the 10-volume report was published.
Jim Wray had been shot twice when fleeing from the soldiers as they rampaged through the Bogside. The Inquiry found that he had been “specifically targeted” as he fled. Having been brought to the ground by one shot, he was “deliberately” shot again while lying wounded on the ground.
One of the “most controversial” issues before the Inquiry was whether this deliberate second shot had been fired at a wounded man on the ground. The Inquiry upheld the case which the family’s legal team had put forward, based on forensic and eye witness evidence.
The families generally were satisfied with the clear findings made by Lord Saville, and with the apology of the Prime Minister.
Click here for the report.
Demir v Turkey
Paul Richmond has been instructed by the Kurdish Human Rights Project to represent a Kurdish military conscript in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights. The applicant, who has been convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a criminal offence of ‘making propaganda for an illegal organisation’ under Article 7/2 of the Anti-terror Law, complains that he has been subjected to unlawful and arbitrary detention, an unfair trial and a violation of his right to freedom of expression. The case is particularly noteworthy insofar as it includes a challenge to the independence of the entire military court system in Turkey.
After an absence of 16 months, Iain Edwards will be returning to full-time practice in Chambers early next month. Iain has been a member of two defence teams at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda based in Arusha, Tanzania. His clients are charged with genocide and crimes against humanity arising out of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Verdicts in both cases are expected this autumn. Iain will continue to practise in his specialist areas of criminal defence, immigration, and prison law whilst developing his international practice.
The International Commission of Jurists has published a practitioner manual entitled “Trial Observation Manual for Criminal Proceedings”, co-authored by Paul Richmond. The 200-page manual provides trial observers with practical guidance on how to prepare for a trial observation mission, carry out an observation and write a follow-up report. It also provides a synthesis of the legal standards applicable in relation to the right to a fair trial and is the first such manual to include analysis of international standards on combating impunity and the right to remedy of victims of human rights violations. The manual is available in English, Spanish and Arabic.
Click here to download.
1 Mitre Court Buildings is very pleased to announce that the following barristers have today joined chambers:
Rajesh K. Rai (Crime, Immigration, Public Law & Judicial Review)
Shashi Jaisri (Immigration, Mental Health, Housing & Property, Public Law & Judicial Review)
Shuyeb Muquit (Immigration, Crime, Mental Health, Prison Law, Public Law & Judicial Review)
Ranjeet Dulay (Crime, Immigration, Prison Law)
Their profiles will be added to this website shortly. In the meantime, please direct any enquiries to our Clerks on 020 7452 8900.
Lord Gifford QC, who was leading counsel on behalf of the family of James Wray during the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, will be in Derry on 15th June 2010 when the report of the Saville Inquiry will be published. The legal teams will have access to the report a few hours before the official tabling of the report in Parliament, and will be able to advise their clients. Lord Gifford has commended the process of the Inquiry as being a significant contribution to peace in Northern Ireland. His clients’ response to the report itself will be made known when the report is published.
From 17-18 May 2010, Paul Richmond trained 80 Lao judges, public prosecutors and lawyers on international fair trial standards. Paul was commissioned as an expert on the right to a fair trial under international law by the United Nations Development Programme, the International Commission of Jurists and the International Law Project of the Laos Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The training workshop – the first of its kind in Laos – followed the Laos government’s ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in September 2009.