Monday, 29 September 2014

A Law Unto Themselves - conversations with legal practitioners

Last month Radio 4 ran this short series (four episodes) in which Helena Kennedy spoke to eminent international lawyers and judges about their lives and careers.

Episode 1 - Justice Michael Kirby, the first Australian High Court judge to come out as gay and who argued forcefully, in the face of considerable opposition, for equal rights for homosexuals.

Episode 2 - Gareth Peirce helped free convicted Irish bombers such as the Birmingham Six and Guilford Four, secured the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees, and for years thwarted government attempts to deport the Muslim preacher Abu Qatada. 

Episode 3 - Jeremy Hutchinson - his career ranged from defending Penguin Books in the Lady Chatterley's Lover obscenity trial, to taking on the might of the British intelligence service in the ABC official secrets trial. He also represented society call girl Christine Keeler and the art thief Kempton Bunton.

Episode 4 - Eva Joly, the Norwegian-born judge investigated a multi-billion euro fraud involving the state-owned Elf oil company. Thirty people were eventually convicted and senior members of former President Francois Mitterand's government implicated after she revealed that company directors had siphoned off billions of francs to pay for bribes and luxurious lifestyles.

Each episode is around half an hour long, and well worth a listen.

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