I say nothing about pending disciplinary and other processes, but it seems to be right and timely for me to contribute to the vexed subject of Iraq and alleged intimidation of lawyers.
For several years of my 16 on the Law Society’s Council, I was proud to have Phil Shiner as a constituent. My perception was and remains that he ploughed uncomfortable and unpopular furrows, securing vindication for many a vulnerable or disadvantaged client who would otherwise have been disenfranchised. That he found himself doing so where his adversary chanced to be our armed forces in no sense might properly have deterred him from that professional pursuit.
Nor did it. But for his attritional efforts, to take just one example, Baha Mousa’s family would never have achieved justice.
I commend our president for reminding us all of an essential strand of our raison d’être as lawyers; and of the mischief, always to be resisted, of our being identified and condemned by reason of the unpopularity of either the client or their cause.
As Myles Hickey observes in his letter, compare and contrast this with the absence of any sustained disapprobation – let alone consequences – for governmental recklessness and worse in orchestrating a catastrophic and legally dubious conflict in Iraq.
Malcolm Fowler, solicitor and higher court advocate, Dennings, Tipton