Washminster

Washminster
Washminster

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Michael Mansfield

This week, with my new students at Aylesbury College, we looked at the balance of police powers (and the rights as members of society not to have criminals interfere with our lives) and the rights of an individual suspect. I highlighted the number of misscarriages of justice which undermined the legal process in the scefic cases - but also undermined the integrity of the English legal system. Many of the safeguards now in place are a response to the weaknesses shown up in these cases.

So we looked at the Guildford Four; The Maguire Seven; The Birmingham Six; Stefan Kiszko; Judith Ward; the Bridgewater Three....

While prepping for my session, I bought - and have been reading Michael Mansfield's "Memoirs of A Radical Lawyer" - he describes many of the cases he has been involved in - and explains how easily justice can be undermined. I would recommend the book to anyone studying Law - it's an interesting book to read, he is certainly an interesting individual - but it should also provoke thought - about the role of lawyers; of how "justice" can be delivered; and of the very real dangers of relying on "expert" evidence.

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