When Injustice becomes Law, resistance becomes duty.
From Daniel Hart @iwig on Twitter
Do Right Fear Noone
The Criminal Bar Associations Motto
Praise for Geoffrey Robertson QC who lives up to everything a fine Lawyer should be, a forensic Historian, a courageous Researcher, a bold story-telling Advocate who writes a book EVERYONE Lawyer and Non Lawyer should read to get a picture of History during the Civil War around the time of the Levellers and struggles between The Peoples v a supposedly divinely appointed King.
To the Public: would you view Charles I actions as Fair or Unfair? Just or Unjust? Lawful or Unlawful?
What the Legal System was like at time of Charles I
Trials were by Ordeal for example the notorious Star Chamber, where cross Examination was little more than verbal abuse of defendant.
At the time of the English Civil wars
Capital punishment was meted out for the smallest of crimes because there was Defence of Necessity ie defence of crime to feed kids keep life and limb together as I guess it.
Therefore the general population was at higher risk of arrest for breaking the Law than if you had a fairer |Legal System in place eg what we have now: Trial by Jury, Right to representation in an Adversarial System. Parlimentary Legislation, Parliamentary democracy no matter how threatened. Legal Aid!
WHY DIDN’T THE LEGAL PROFESSION PROTEST ABOUT THEIR UNJUST LEGAL SYSTEM HAD THEY NO CONSCIENCE?
John Cooke trained on Cokes Institutes and the Magna Carta, he was a highly principled and Christian Puritan. Link to Cokes Institutes and Magna Carta.
To No Man we deny Justice or Right.
His training was long and ardous entailing many years of University and many years Professional Practice.
I assume the rest of the Legal Profession had the same education so why didn’t they speak up about the unlawfulness of Trial by Order or the smallest crimes being treated as Capital Offences?
What blinded them to these injustices when Cook observed but had to go to Ireland to set up a fair Court System that ruled in favour of the Poor?
From unlawful to Lawful
Cooke enjoyed a steady fairly prosperous where he managed to survive despite lean times. After many years London Career he traveled to Ireland where he set up Law Courts which ruled in favour of the downtrodden which made him powerful enemies.
I believe that from @justcounsel he disregarded the Cab Rank Rule which is mandated to all practicing barristers. This is where you take the first Case in the Cab Rank regardless of consequence to self for the good of the client. I haven’t seen a more detailed reference but I trust her as both reliable and authoritative telling me more about my Hero who I have endless admiration for.
How the Lot fell to Cook to prosecute Charles I for genocidal civil wars against his people
There was a group of Lawyers who were looking to prosecute Charles I but this was in the context of great fears at the Inns where there was an [mass?] exodus to safer climes.
When the brief was being passed round as the Barristers assembled at the Inns it was repeatedly refused, such an Brief would be too risky for their Careers but John Cook who set up a fair Legal system in Ireland and who was promoted to be a judge took the Brief.
How the Battle was fought in the Courts
As one might expect Charles I employed the most top ranking QCs to defend his Case.
Cook took the same approach employing Matthew Hale and another top ranking Barrister to the Prosecutions blank word.
A Lawful and Fair Trial for a King who unlawfully genocided his people
Charles I trial was deeply symbolic heavily prophetic with heavy red and black heavy velvet draped around the vast vaulted splendor or Westminster Hall. Here the courtroom drama took place with public watching from the Gallery.
The King meets his match in John Cook in the Rod Incident
The King was face to face with his accuser who courageously took the Brief other Barristers run a mile from
The King stood forward to stop Cook from exercising his duty as a Prosecutor
Cook repels him with a rod.
The King grudgingly drew back.
I don’t know if my description does sufficient justice to this key incident but it was an Incident that would be broadcast on the world’s International News Channels and analyzed in minute detail with the Public speculating whether he would ‘get it’ for his Crimes.
Length of Trial: Trials in modern terms need to be suited to Case
Charles I had a five day trial which was fairly conducted but which he deliberately obstructed because he refused to plead guilty to crimes which to a rational mind would have been only too apparent now the basis of International Law.
Charles I despite repeated calls and exposure to evidence repeatedly refused to admit he was guilty of the crimes with which he was convicted This pattern has been repeated with famous War Criminals from Slobadon Milosovic, plus others which I currently can’t remember.
Luckily Cook and Co found a Loophole? And he was forced to confess Pro Confesso. His fate was sealed.
Post Trial his Execution I believe the first for a Monarch? Was swiftly arranged and Charles was executed in a manner that was fair, swift and surgical.
There followed but A Brief Republic a key Historical Fact for those who don’t think we have never had a Republic.
Following Charles I execution there followed a brief Republic which was as a result of the Lawyers History making actions in bringing to justice a genocidal Monarch but it was not too last for long.
Charles II was in exile in France? Where in England he had Supporters who campaigned to bring him back.
Charles II was brought back where there was great pomp and circumstance in the streets at his return.
Unbeknowns to me prior to Legal Twitter it was when the Black gowns that Barristers wear in Court were made? To commemorate the Monarchies Restoration.
Previous activists caved in and got peerages etc.
Former levellers opted for comfortable life.
Previous to Charles II Restoration John Cooks Legal Reforms were dismantled in Ireland a sad end to a fine Lawyer’s work that deserved nationwide rollouts.
The Restored Monarchy a commitment to Justice?
Supporters rounded on those they deemed guilty of high treason list The Lawyers who constructed and conducted the Trial etc who qualified legal arguments over.
There were Unlawful arrests, unlawful trials with much debate as to who to include/exclude from the List.
John Cook, The Old Bailey the open public arena and the Scaffold within eye view
The Rally for Legal Aid where my Hero was unlawfully arrested tried and executed for merely being a Lawyer who practiced Justice who did Right and feared Noone. From Michael Bloody Turner QC Chair of the Criminal Bar Association.
John Cooke and his fellow Colleagues were accused of High Treason denied Lawful Trials within ey view of executioner stained with blood of previous victim.
Geoffrey Robertson QC amplifies this point in his book
Sentenced to the cruelest execution hanging drawing and quartering.
The Sentences were carried out within a fairly short time
Scaffold Speeches were their opportunity to set record straight. These were recorded thankfully for posterity.
Cooke pleaded that a bipolar man in crisis not ready to die would be let off his execution his last judicial act.
The crowd were swayed by the scaffold speeches which continued after Cook and co’s execution which forced the authorities to stop executions.
Spectators watching remarked at the Dignity with which he died despite the most excruitiating agonies visited upon him as his execution had a Royal Visitor wishing to visit on him Revenge.
POST EXECUTION SUPPRESSION OF SCAFFOLD SPEECHES. NOW WE CAN HEAR THE STORY!
Hanging drawing and quartering meant to erase all memory of defendant.
It is entirely down to Robertson’s work that we have this book because he is an excellent Historian and read documents in the original and did the true work of a Historian-Sleuth and we are to pay him his due respects for doing so.
@justcounsel Barristers wear black gowns to commemorate Charles II restoration not the wonderous John Cooke as should be the case IMHO.
Grays Inn? Pictures of Royalty inappropriate not fitting in with IMHO
@justcounsel John cooke disregarded cab rank rule but lot fell to him as only Barrister prepared to undertake that terrifying brief with it’s pink ribbons.
Pleasing Royalty over celebrating IMHO their true Legal Heros. I would have John Cooke commemorated by black gowns and pictures of him in Grays Inn in the most prominent place!!!!!!!!!
I would employ right policies towards royals perhaps encourage them in correctly just legal direction!!!!
Apologies to All this Post is rather disjointed despite of undergoing 7 Revisions. I am not happy with it’s struture and style of prose but I am happy that I begin to make key points about this History making Barrister, a QC in his day?