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The Power In The People

On sale

5th October 2023

Price: £14.99

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Selected: ebook / ISBN-13: 9781800961463

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‘A lifetime spend fighting the powers that be and turning personal pain into collective power.
Take care of this book because you are holding our history in your hands.’ – LOWKEY

‘Michael Mansfield is the greatest civil liberties lawyer this country has ever produced’ – Baroness HELENA KENNEDY of the Shaws KC

‘Michael Mansfield has given power to the voiceless, the innocents … For this, he too is a hero’ JOHN PILGER

‘Michael Mansfield combines rare humanity with a brilliant understanding of the law’ JON SNOW

‘A book of great importance … Mr Mansfield’s thoughtful reflections demand our attention’ – KEN LOACH

‘An impressive and inspiring read’ – DUNCAN CAMPBELL

I want this book to inspire people, give them a blueprint for fighting their own battles, and challenge the status quo. To see that together, we are always stronger. To understand that those who stand in the way of change cannot do so forever.’ Michael Mansfield, KC

Barrister Michael Mansfield, KC, has spent his career fighting injustice, persecution and corruption. And be it the Birmingham Six, Bloody Sunday, Stephen Lawrence, the Marchioness, Hillsborough or Grenfell, he has come to learn one thing – that people power is unstoppable.

Time and again he has witnessed governments, police forces, legal institutions and the establishment, try to block change and maintain the status quo in order to protect their interests. But almost every time he has seen that passion, perseverance, collectivity and courage create a powerful momentum which is increasingly difficult to stop.

In this short but powerful book, the veteran barrister draws upon his 50 years of fighting for justice and revisits his most important cases and clients, proving without doubt that when people get together they can make lasting and positive change.

The power is in the people – not the people in power.


Duncan Campbell
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.
Ken Loach
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.
Jon Snow
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.
Baroness HELENA KENNEDY of the Shaws KC
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.