Traditionally a lawyer’s own views and political affiliation are irrelevant to the pursuit of the legal process.
This lecture will examine – and celebrate – the work of lawyers who have crossed the usual lines and worked for political change. It will look at the life of South African advocate Bram Fischer, who defended Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia trial, and was himself prosecuted for sabotage and sentenced to life in prison.
It will consider modern examples of lawyers paying a heavy price for political engagement, as well as the ethical issues which are engaged – how far can a lawyer go?
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Given Covid-19, we are live-streaming all our lectures online in 2020-21 and aim to re-introduce in-person lectures gradually as social distancing rules change.
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Thomas is Visiting Gresham Professor of Politics and Law. He is a Queens Council and member of Maitland Chambers.
He practises in the commercial chancery, fraud, professional negligence, company, property, and art and entertainment fields, as well as being instructed in a wide range of general chancery and commercial litigation. Thomas has a particular interest in fraud claims and is well known for his expertise in obtaining and defending freezing and related interim orders.
Thomas was appointed Visiting Gresham Professor of Politics and Law in 2020/21.
Thomas's lecture series is as follows:
2020/21 The Politics of the Courtroom