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The Peace Tax Seven

The Legal Team




Phil Shiner leads the team at PIL. He is a lawyer with an international and national reputation for his work on issues concerning international, environmental and human rights law. He has been practicing as a solicitor in the UK since 1981. He has written and spoken at international and national conferences on all the areas of law covered PIL's present work. Phil Shiner is a member of the Law Society's planning panel and is entitled to describe himself as a specialist planning and environmental lawyer.

Phil has developed the practice to attract top rankings also in the areas of human rights and administrative and public law through acting for Gurkha soldiers facing discrimination in the British army and in relation to the conduct of British troops in post-occupation Iraq. He has dealt with international law issues through, for example, representing CND in a judicial review challenging the Government's decision to go to war and instructing barristers on the legality of the Mutual Defence Agreement between the US and UK.

Administrative and public law - the 2003 Legal 500 entry read as follows:

"In Birmingham, Public Interest Lawyers has a claimant practice with a national client base. Practice head Phil Shiner is described as 'very creative, hardworking and tenacious - a good guy to have on your side'. A highlight of 2002 was securing a headline-grabbing victory for CND in R (CND) v The Prime Minister, when CND was granted a pre-emptive capping of costs at £25,000, since there were issues of genuine public importance in its challenge to the legality of a war in Iraq."

Phil was honoured as "Human Rights Lawyer of the Year" by the Joint Liberty and Justice Awards in 2004.
Further information at: http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/reviews.htm



Nusrat qualified in 1999 with predominantly litigation experience at Kennedys solicitors. She left private practice to study the LLM at University College London in International and Human Rights Law and has experience of UK and international human rights law through advising on human rights at Liberty and assisting with the prosecution of crimes against humanity with the UN Mission of Support in East Timor. She has also represented the International Commission of Jurists to observe a trial of Kurdish lawyers in Southeast Turkey and immediately before joining PIL, was the Legal Officer at The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) for a project on religious discrimination in employment. Nusrat is on the MCB's Legal Affairs Committee.




Date of Birth: 21 December 1964, Sheffield
Called to Bar: 1990
Holder of Karmel, Mould and Prince of Wales Scholarships, Gray's Inn
Degrees: BA (Oxon) First Class; BCL (Oxon); LLM (Virginia)
Other information: Junior Counsel to the Crown (A Panel)
Areas of Practice: Public/Administrative Law/Judicial Review including Human Rights/Environmental/Commercial

Mike Fordham is a public lawyer specialising in judicial review. He switched to public law following 4 years as a commercial barrister. Mike's practice encompasses the entire range of judicial review subject-matter, acting for claimants, defendants and interested parties. He is a member of the Attorney-General's "A Panel" of Counsel; author of the Judicial Review Handbook and co-editor of the journal Judicial Review; College Lecturer in Administrative Law at Hertford College Oxford and a member of the Advisory Board of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

The Legal 500 (2004) put Mike as the stand-alone junior in public law; in Chambers and Partners (2005) he is starred as a leading junior barrister in the field of public law. Both directories also feature Mike as a top junior in environmental law and Civil Liberties and Human Rights where The Legal 500 describe him as “a phenomenal advocate”. This year The Legal 500 have recognised Mike as a leading junior in the EU & Competition practice area, where he is said to be “brilliant … and noted for his judicial review experience.” Chambers and Partners refers to the "awesome intellect" and "the all-round qualities of top junior Michael Fordham", having called Mike (in 2002/3) "the stellar junior" in public law. Legal 500 refers to Mike as "[David] Pannick's equivalent at junior level". The Lawyer (September 2003) called Mike "a real superstar in the junior bar", having named him as early as November 1998 as being in the top 5 barristers (whether QCs or juniors) in judicial review. Legal Business hailed Mike as "the undisputed star of the junior judicial review Bar", having featured him (July 1997) as one of the Bar's top 40 barristers in all fields under the age of 40 (Mike was aged 32). Mike was The Times “Lawyer of the Week” on 25 May 2004.

Human rights
Legal 500 puts Mike in the top 3 juniors in civil liberties and human rights. As a member of the Attorney-General's A Panel, Mike is frequently instructed in key human rights cases. He has also acted for individuals (in cases like Blood and Marchiori) and public-interest groups (such as the Refugee Legal Centre and Amnesty International), in cases relying on the Human Rights Act, EU basic rights and international humanitarian law. He has represented anti-war protesters in relation to ECHR rights-interference by the police at Fairford (for Bindmans); youths facing civil process “naming and shaming” (for Liberty); Iraqi families in relation to Article 2-accountability for killings in post-war Iraq (for Public Interest Lawyers). He has challenged the fast-track asylum process at Harmondsworth (for RLC, instructed by the Public Law Project); discontinuance of funding for Leicester city community centres (instructed by PLP); and the non-availability of judicial review under the asylum statutory review legislation. He has appeared as amicus in the Court of Appeal. He wrote an influential Opinion (for RLC) in relation to the Government’s constitutionally dubious and subsequently withdrawn proposal to oust judicial review in immigration cases.
Further information: http://www.blackstonechambers.com/cv.asp?StaffID=38



Date of Birth: 19 January 1975
Called to Bar: 2001 (Peter Taylor Scholar, Inner Temple)
Degrees: MA, MPhil., Cambridge (History); Diploma in Law, City University
Areas of Practice: Public Law, Employment Law and Commercial Law.
David is interested in all aspects of public and human rights law, and has developed a particular interest in religious freedom and rights of conscience. He has recently represented a Baptist Christian threatened with deportation to Uzbekistan after the rejection of her asylum claim (Adjudicator, IAT, and High Court), and two Sikh men who were arrested whilst attending a protest about the showing of an anti-Sikh play (judicial review). He has been instructed to consider, on behalf of an NGO, the human rights implications of imposing restrictions on the wearing of religious clothing in public schools, and is currently acting with Michael Fordham in a high profile case concerning conscientious objection to war.

Along with Michael Fordham, David has also appeared in the Administrative Court and in the Court of Appeal on behalf of the Refugee Legal Centre in a public interest legal challenge to the systemic fairness of the government’s Harmondsworth Super Fast Track asylum procedure: R (Refugee Legal Centre) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2004] EWCA Civ 1481.

As sole counsel, David has also been instructed in asylum and other immigration cases. He successfully represented a cellist in her successful appeal from the decision of the Secretary of State that she had not shown sufficient progress in her studies to justify any further period of leave to remain. He has been instructed by the Refugee Legal Centre in the case of an asylum-seeker from Zimbabwe who suffered ill-treatment there as a result of perceived membership of the MDC opposition party.

He is co-author of three chapters (on articles 3, 4 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights) in the second edition of Lester and Pannick, Human Rights Law and Practice.
Further information: http://www.blackstonechambers.com/cv.asp?StaffID=87



Year of Call

Queen's Counsel

LLB (Hons) First Class, BCL

Keir Starmer QC has a mixed criminal and civil practice. He specializes in human rights law and has conducted cases at the highest level and all over the world in this field. He has also written and lectured widely on human rights matters. In 2000 he won the Justice/Liberty human rights lawyer of the year award. In 2005 he won the Bar Council's Sydney Elland Goldsmith award for his outstanding contribution to pro bono work. Guy Mansfield QC, then Chairman of the Bar Council, commented: "Keir Starmer QC has for many years sustained a campaign across different jurisdictions against the death penalty ... he has made a major contribution to changing the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth on a fundamental matter - life and death". In 2002 he was appointed to the Foreign Secretary's Death Penalty Advisory Panel.

Keir Starmer QC has written several legal textbooks includingEuropean Human Rights Law (LAG), Criminal Justice, Police Powers and Human Rights (Blackstone Press),Human Rights Digest (Blackstone Press) andHuman Rights in the Investigation and Prosecution of Crime(OUP, forthcoming). He is the author of the human rights section in Blackstone's Criminal Practice and a contributing author toHuman Rights in Civil Practice (Sweet & Maxwell) andMithani's Directors' Disqualification (Butterworths). He is the co-author ofThree Pillars of Liberty (Routledge) and editor ofJustice in Error (Blackstone Press) andMiscarriages of Justice (Blackstone Press). He has also had numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals such as Public Law, European Human Rights Law Review and the Political Quarterly. He is a member of the editorial board of European Human Rights Law Review.

In 2003, Keir Starmer QC was appointed as human rights advisor to the Policing Board in Northern Ireland. In that capacity he works with the Policing Board to ensure that the Police Service of Northern Ireland fully complies with its obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998. Along with his co-advisor, he has published four reports in Northern Ireland: two annual human rights reports and two special reports on particular policing operations. Working closely with senior officers in the Police Service, he has secured their commitment to respond positively to all the recommendations made in those reports.

Keir Starmer QC is a research fellow at Essex University and lectures periodically at the London School of Economics, London University.

Keir Starmer QC also advised Helen Steel and David Morris in their epic struggle against McDonalds in the longest civil trial in English legal history. He then represented the two of them before the European Court of Human Rights and succeeded in establishing that aspects of libel law are contrary to the free speech rights in Article 10 ECHR. He features in the film McLibel that was screened in the UK, US and Australia in 2005.
Further information: http://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/barristers/keir_starmer_qc.cfm



Year of Call
1996 (Gray's Inn)

BA (Hons) Law with French (Class I), Maxwell Law Prize; PhD Public International Law: University of Kent at Canterbury

French (good), Spanish (fair)

Nick Grief is an Associate Tenant at Doughty Street Chambers. He is Head of the Institute of Business & Law and Steele Raymond Professor of Law at Bournemouth University. A specialist in public international law and European law with particular emphasis on human rights and international humanitarian law, he is co-editor of the European Human Rights Reports and a major contributor to the Government Legal Service's EC law training programme. He has also delivered EC law training for the Cabinet Office and the Environment Agency and human rights training for the Sovereign Base Areas Administration (Cyprus) and the States of Guernsey Civil Service Board and Education Council.

In November 2003 he was a member of the panel of experts at a legal inquiry organised by Peacerights into the military operations against Iraq. He has appeared in court as an expert on the legal status of nuclear weapons and drafted a legal memorandum for the World Court Project which culminated in the ICJ's advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. In November 2004 he was counsel to the citizens' inquiry into the legality of Trident, organised by Peacerights. He is chair of the trustees of Inforce, the International Forensic Centre of Excellence for the Investigation of Genocide.
Further information: http://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/barristers/associate_tenants/tenant_details.cfm?iTennantID=96