After 42 years righting wrongs on behalf of clients such as the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, barrister Michael Mansfield says he is taking a break from court work.
Don’t expect him to disappear from the headlines. The head of chambers at criminal and civil rights set Tooks says he will spend the next few months completing his memoirs and doing international work, including with an advocacy unit at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
He has just returned from the West Bank after a trip to study the work and practice of Israeli military courts there.
A report from the mission, which included barristers Helena Kennedy QC, Roy Amlot QC, TV Edwards partner Jim Nichol and Bill Bowring, law professor at Birkbeck College School of Law, will deliver a verdict later this year on the courts’ jurisdiction and processes. The team will also look at wider issues, Mansfield said: ‘Basically, we’re looking at fairness and equality of arms to see if justice is being delivered in the region.’
No doubt the findings will be forthright. And Obiter suspects that, in the current climate of controversy over policing and civil liberties closer to home, the veteran campaigner will find it hard to stay out of the domestic spotlight as well.