Part-memoir, part-manifesto, The Power in the People, by one of our finest and most outspoken lawyers, should be read by anyone concerned about our justice system, our wilting democracy - and the planet. From his involvement in cases like the Birmingham Six and the Mangrove Nine, through those of Stephen Lawrence, Hillsborough and Grenfell, Mansfield has seen the world at its worst - and its best - and argues that we can learn much from the campaigns that fought against injustices and against the odds. An impressive and inspiring read.
This is a book of great importance. It asks a simple but profound question: how can the law and legal process fulfil our demand for natural justice? Michael Mansfield examines notorious miscarriages of justice and the tenacity of those who fought to reverse them. Then he describes the long struggles to demand truth and accountability from those in power. The trials, the campaigns, and particularly the Public Enquiries are recorded here with the authority of someone who was a leading figure in most of them. What emerges is the necessity of struggle, and the strength, courage and determination it demands. Those in power resist being held responsible for their failures. How long did the victims of Bloody Sunday wait for justice? Or the families of those who died in Hillsborough? Or the Birmingham 6, Guildford 4, and so many others, including the survivors of the Grenfell fire? It is clear that the rule of law is only sufficient if the law will give us justice. This is a class issue. Those with wealth and property have their interests better served than the ordinary citizen. Mr Mansfield has spent a lifetime at the forefront of this struggle, and is considered by many to be the outstanding barrister of his generation. His thoughtful reflections on these questions demand our attention. This book is a challenge, certainly, but also an act of solidarity.
Michael Mansfield combines rare humanity with a brilliant understanding of the law. Reading this book one realises the exceptional talent he was prepared to devote to the needs of those seeking his legal skills, whatever their status.
Michael Mansfield is the greatest civil liberties lawyer this country has ever produced. He charts many of his cases in this extraordinary book. A titanic lawyer, a brilliant history of struggle for justice. What a legacy
Michael Mansfield's work has often given the law undeserved distinction. In a remarkable career, he has given power to the voiceless, the innocents of a justice system corrupted by political miscarriage: from the miners to the Birmingham Six to the Hillsborough families: they who stand and fight and are the heroes of our society. For this, he too is a hero.