Helena Kennedy talks to solicitor Gareth Peirce, who has been described by one of her own clients as specialising in representing pariahs of society.
Helena Kennedy talks to solicitor Gareth Peirce who has been described by one of her own clients as specialising in representing pariahs of society.
During a career spanning nearly 40 years she has been at the heart of many of Britain's fiercest legal controversies. She has helped free convicted Irish bombers such as the Birmingham Six and Guilford Four, secured the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees, and for years thwarted government attempts to deport the Muslim preacher Abu Qatada.
Opinions about her tend to be polarised. For many she is an indefatigable fighter for human rights, defender of the underdog and campaigner against miscarriages of justice. Others see her actions as a threat to national security - making Britain appear a "safe haven for terrorists".
Her other high profile clients have included Julian Assange and the family of Jean Charles de Menezes who had been shot dead by police at Stockwell tube station.
Gareth Peirce discusses her role in uncovering some of the biggest miscarriages of justice in the country's legal history, and explains why she has devoted her life to defending those whom she believes have no voice in society.
Producer: Brian King
An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.