During his career, Michael Mansfield QC has also represented Barry George, who was wrongly convicted of the murder of Jill Dando, and the families of victims of the Omagh, Lockerbie and Dublin bombings.
He received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws at a ceremony at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.
Mr Mansfield said: “I really appreciate the honour bestowed upon me by University of Wolverhampton. I would like to take the opportunity to emphasise the critical need for new, committed young lawyers to continue the struggle for human rights at a time when they are besieged by political detractors and economic constraints.”
Called to the Bar in 1967, Michael Mansfield gained a BA Hons degree in History and Philosophy from Keele University before turning to law. He soon earned the respect of colleagues, mounting vigorous defences for clients. He made his name in the Angry Brigade trial in the early 1970s before establishing Tooks Court Chambers in 1984. He took silk (became a Queen’s Counsel) in 1989.
Mr Mansfield has never shied away from controversial cases, especially where civil liberties are at stake. He has been involved in high profile cases such as Barry George – who was wrongly convicted of the murder of Jill Dando - and represented the families of victims of the Bloody Sunday shootings, and of Jean Charles de Menezes.
At inquests he represented the families of Tom Hurndall and James Miller – journalists murdered by the Israeli army. He also represented the families of the Omagh, Lockerbie and Dublin bombings, of the Marchioness disaster, and of the New Cross Fire. He represented striking miners at Orgreave, the Newham Seven and Bradford Twelve – victims of racist attacks who defended themselves.
Mr Mansfield has a magnificent track record in cases involving miscarriage of justice. 46 years after Mahmood Mattan was executed for murder, Mansfield helped clear his name on appeal. He was involved in the successful appeals of the Birmingham Six, Judith Ward, Annette Hewins, Angela Cannings, M25 Three, Newsagent’s Three and Bridgewater Four.
Michael Mansfield has written extensively in all major broadsheets and law journals and he has appeared in several documentaries. His books Presumed Guilty and Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer have been critically acclaimed. He was a founder member of Amicus and is presently patron, President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and National Civil Rights Movement. He fully supports the work of the Fitted-In Project.
This year he won the Legal Aid Lawyers Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award.
The honorary degree was presented to Mr Mansfield on Wednesday 8 September 2010.
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