Public Interest Lawyers is an extraordinary firm of solicitors, who must be – certainly should be – the pride of the legal profession. Through their tenacity, quality and sheer hard work – often from unpromising beginnings and in dark times for public funding – they have single-handedly been responsible for shining the torchlight of legal accountability in a range of new areas. The work continues unabated. No barrister or judge, here or in Strasbourg, could have come to deal with the sorts of human rights issues which PIL continues to raise, but for their principled and brave pursuit of justice.

 

PIL demonstrates three further important things. First, how positive and constructive can be the use of public funding in public law cases, in the public interest. It has been hard. But PIL and the LSC have forged a partnership which is second to none, as to the importance of the cases that are brought, their success and their wider impact. Secondly, PIL demonstrates that London does not always lead, and a London-centric focus is neither helpful nor fair. This firm, from what are still sometimes thought of as “the provinces”, is the nation’s leader for human rights application in challenging cases. That PIL is looking, as a Birmingham-based firm. How refreshing for it to be that way.Thirdly, let it not be forgotten that PIL was set up as a new firm of solicitors. This is not the further and continued work of an established firm, set up long ago when times were different. This was an innovation; a leap of faith in the rule of law. It was a boat launched in a sea of uncertainty, which has turned out to be the flagship for public law accountability under the rule of law.

 

Michael Fordham QC
Michael Fordham QC
 
 

Ali Zaki Mousa Reaction to his Victory in the Court of Appeal

This release is further to the release of earlier today detailing the successful challenge to the independence of the Royal Military Police.

 

Ali Zaki Mousa, the lead Claimant, said today:

 

I am delighted with the victory because I always believed that the Royal Military Police would be biased in its investigations of the soldiers.  It is part of the army.

 

When we suffered a lot under the British Army and witnessed a catalogue of abuses, we had the impression that that is what Britain is.  But thanks to the efforts of our lawyers and the victories in the courts this has changed our impression.  We can see that there are the actions of the British soldiers and that is one thing; then there is British society and that is something else.  It has restored our confidence in the British people.


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