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
 
 

Doctor at Centre of Baha Mousa's Death sees Fitness to Practice Panel Reconvened from Sunday, 16 December 2012

Dr. Derek Keilloh, who is being investigated by the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service for his role in the death of Baha Mousa, will see his Fitness to Practice Panel reconvened this weekend. The Panel’s determination on facts will be announced on Sunday, 16 December and the investigation into complaints that Dr Keilloh’s fitness to practice has been impaired as a result of misconduct will continue until next Friday, 21 December.

Baha Mousa died on 15 September 2003 after three days of vicious abuse at Battle Group Main, the main base of 1st Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (1QLR). Dr Keilloh was the Regimental Medical Officer at Battle Group Main and was responsible for the welfare of Baha Mousa and the other Iraqi civilians detained with him.

At the public inquiry into Baha Mousa’s death, Dr Keilloh said that he had not noticed extensive injuries on Baha Mousa’s body and had only noticed a small trace of dried blood under his nostril. The final report of the chair of the Inquiry, Sir William Gage, recorded that Baha Mousa had sustained 93 different external injuries including “multiple bruises and grazes situated on the head, neck and torso and the upper and lower limbs.”

Public Interest Lawyers act for Baha Mousa’s father, Colonel Daoud Mousa. Colonel Mousa will not be available for comment on Sunday, 16 December. However, Cianan Good of Public Interest Lawyers will be in attendance at the hearing. Phil Shiner will also be available for media interviews.

 For more information please contact Public Interest Lawyers on 0121 515 5069 or by email: cianan.good@publicinterestlawyers.co.uk

Cianan Good will also be available to take enquiries on Sunday 16 December on 07735 410488.


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