Profile

Overview

Patrick O'Connor Q.C. has 40 years' experience of the broadest range of criminal and civil work. Whether it be at trial or on appeal, in high profile criminal or civil law, at an Inquest into a death in custody or a Public Inquiry, he brings his experience, his imaginative creativity and his commitment to bear for the benefit of the client.
He welcomes direct public access work, in the same spirit.
What the directories say
He is regularly recognised for his work in Chambers and Partners (crime, civil liberties and police law) and Legal 500 (civil liberties and human rights). "A really stellar reputation": "a hugely talented major player boasting a wealth of experience": "formidable advocacy and tigerish cross-examination": "strength, wisdom and experience": "a compelling force in court": and "A really fine and lengthy track record and a wonderful skills base to work from; he is first-class."

Career cases

Crime: Appellate
He has conducted many leading 'miscarriage of justice' and ‘cutting edge’ appeals,: including the 'Guildford Four', for Gerry Conlon and his father, Giuseppe: the 'Birmingham Six': the 'Carl Bridgewater' case, for Jimmy Robinson: and the 'M 25' appeal, for Raphael Rowe:
and in the Privy Council Stanley Abbott, 1976, authority on duress in murder: and 'Farrington', 1996, and 'Higgs', 1999.
He has appeared in five leading House of Lords criminal appeals:
R v Chard (1984, Home Secretary's references to Court of Appeal)
B. v DPP (2000, strict liability in crime) [2000] 2 WLR 452: "one of the most important of the last century" (Professor Smith)
R v Looseley, [2001] 1 WLR 2060, the guideline case on 'entrapment' and the limits upon incitement:
R v Kennedy [2007] UKHL 38, overturning his ten-year-old conviction for manslaughter, after supplying drugs to the deceased. Several Court of Appeal decisions were overruled, and basic principles of causation and complicity re-affirmed.
R v Maxwell [2011] 1 WLR 1837, leading ‘abuse of process’ authority.
After his reference from the C of A to the ECJ, Luxembourg, in 1980, R v Tymen, he won the first ever criminal appeal based on Community Law.

Crime: Trials

He defended in many high profile political and 'terrorist' criminal trials, including the 'Bradford 12', the Orgreave miners, the Harrods bombing and in 2003, the 'Real IRA' BBC and Ealing bombings: and the first major Islamic terrorism trial, 'Operation Crevice'. He is instructed in the Massereene Barracks murders in Northern Ireland.
He has defended in many murder trials: and prosecuted a high profile corporate manslaughter case. He acted for the DPP in the prosecution against BNP leaders for 'incitement to racial hatred' arising out of an undercover BBC operation.

Civil.

For 25 years, he has pursued actions against the police, including:
record damages in Rupert Taylor v CMP, 1988
the first damages award for police 'torture', Treadaway v CC West Midlands, 1994
the 2004, appeal Paul v CC Humberside, on the trial role of judge and jury.

He won the first two civil claims for victims' families against unconvicted murderers: 'Halford v Brookes' and 'Francisco v Diedrick', both also later convicted.
He represented the family of Zahid Mubarek, who was murdered by his cell-mate in Feltham YOI, winning a landmark 2003 House of Lords order for a public inquiry, under Article 2, ECHR, R [Amin] v SSHD [2003 3 WLR 1169: and in the Mubarek public inquiry. He represented the Conlon family at the 'May Public Inquiry', into their miscarriages of justice. He is currently acting for the Iraqi parties to the 'Al Sweady' public inquiry into allegations against the British Army in Iraq..
He has acted, pro bono, at Inquests for the families of the victims of deaths in police custody. He obtained 'unlawful killing' verdicts in both 'Ibrahim Sey', and 'Richard O'Brien' inquests. He acted for the victims of the London 7/7 bombings, in the recent Inquest and their JR of the Home Secretary's refusal of a public inquiry.
He acted for the family of the deceased boy, who died in a secure training centre, in their successful JR of proposed amendments to the restraint practices of custody staff; [2009] 2 WLR 1039.
He won three of the rare successful JR challenges to CPS decisions: 'Treadaway', 'O'Brien' and 'Simon Jones', the Shoreham Docks case.
Patrick O'Connor acted for Lorraine Osman, in the longest ever fight against extradition from the UK; for the solicitor victim of Revenue powers of search and seizure, Tamosius v IRC, 1999; and for the child claimants in early environmental litigation, against lead in petrol: Budden v Shell, 1980.

Academic and Professional standing

LLB (Hons) University College, London.
He is authorised counsel before the new ICC in The Hague.
He has been called to the Bar of Bermuda and Northern Ireland.
He is a Bencher of Inner Temple.

Publications

He has written two authoritative articles in the Criminal Law Review, which have received judicial approval: on criminal appeals and prosecution disclosure: and a review of documentary hearsay, for Archbold Supplement.
In 2002, Patrick O'Connor visited and jointly reported for the Human Rights Committee of the Bar on the Israel/Palestine conflict.
He has written a paper published by 'Justice', in January, 2009, on 'The Constitutional Role of the Privy Council and the Prerogative'.

Seminars/Lectures

He has conducted many seminars on legal and human rights issues: most recently, upon constitutional reform, namely the 'Privy Council and the Prerogative': upon 'Hate Speech and the criminal law' at a Justice conference on 'Freedom of Expression.': and upon ‘Developments in Abuse of Process.’
Memberships

Criminal Bar Association
Justice
Inquest Lawyers' Group
Haldane Society

Languages

French, at a moderate level

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