Power to the People of our fair city.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Tyrannicide Brief

Geoffrey Robertson, an Australian who is an internationally renowned human rights lawyer (and incidentally married to novelist Kathy Lette) has written a fascinating book about John Cooke, the Puritan lawyer from a humble background who prepared the case against Charles I. He paid terribly for this - the account of his trial and death after the Restoration of Charles II is horrific reading - but he established tyranny as a crime and conducted the first trial of a Head of State for waging war on his own people - a forerunner of the prosecutions of Pinochet, Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. He originated the right to silence, the 'cab rank' rule of advocacy and the duty to act free-of-charge for the poor.

Called The Tyrannicide Brief the book is scholarly but full of fascinating detail about the troubled times of the English Civil War.


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