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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407066035
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 448
Categories:

The Tyrannicide Brief

The Story of the Man who sent Charles I to the Scaffold




Life and law during the Civil Wars as you have never seen it before - and a passionate argument for the people's right of justice against tyrannical leaders.

Charles I waged civil wars that cost one in ten Englishmen their lives. But in 1649 parliament was hard put to find a lawyer with the skill and daring to prosecute a King who was above the law: in the end the man they briefed was the radical barrister, John Cooke.
Cooke was a plebeian, son of a poor farmer, but he had the courage to bring the King’s trial to its dramatic conclusion: the English republic. Cromwell appointed him as a reforming Chief Justice in Ireland, but in 1660 he was dragged back to the Old Bailey, tried and brutally executed.
John Cooke was the bravest of barristers, who risked his own life to make tyranny a crime. He originated the right to silence, the ‘cab rank’ rule of advocacy and the duty to act free-of-charge for the poor. He conducted the first trial of a Head of State for waging war on his own people – a forerunner of the prosecutions of Pinochet, Milo?evic and Saddam Hussein, and a lasting inspiration to the modern world.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407066035
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 448
Categories:

About the Author

Geoffrey Robertson

Geoffrey Robertson QC has had a distinguished career as a trial counsel and human rights advocate. He has been a UN war crimes judge, a counsel in many notable Old Bailey trials, has defended hundreds of men facing death sentences in the Caribbean, and has won landmark rulings on civil liberty from the highest courts in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth. He is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, a Master of the Middle Temple, and a visiting professor at the New College of Humanities in London.

His book Crimes Against Humanity has been an inspiration for the global justice movement, his other books include Freedom, the Individual and the Law, The Tyrannicide Brief, The Statute of Liberty, Dreaming Too Loud and the acclaimed memoir The Justice Game. He has made many television and radio programmes, notably Geoffrey Robertson's Hypotheticals, and has won a Freedom of Information award for his writing and broadcasting. In 2011 he received the New York State Bar Association’s Award for ‘Distinction in International Law and Affairs’, and was Australian Humanitarian of the Year in 2014. In 2018 he was awarded an order of Australia (AO) for ‘his distinguished service to the law and the legal profession as an international human rights lawyer and advocate for global civil liberties’.

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Praise for The Tyrannicide Brief

“Robertson has come up with that desperately rare thing: a subject worthy of biography who has never before been addressed and, to his huge advantage, in his field. The result is a work of literary advocacy as elegant, impassioned and original as any the author can ever have laid before a court”

Anthony Holden, Observer

“Robertson tells a spellbinding story. He combines lucid analysis of the legal issues with acute understanding of the various factions. His prose is crisp and he inserts some comments that only a professional advocate, as opposed to an academic historian, would make”

Christopher Silvester, Daily Telegraph

“This is a work of great compassion and, at a time when it seems to be fashionable for politicians to denigrate lawyers, it is an essential read for anyone who believes in the fearless independence of the law”

John Cooper, The Times

“[Robertson's] forensic intelligence can penetrate where professional historians have not reached”

Blair Worden, Literary Review


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