The Last Barricade: Attacks on Non-State Experts


Michael Mansfield QC and the barristers of Mansfield Chambers invite you to a conference:

The Last Barricade: Attacks on Non-State Experts

Saturday 4 June 2016 at Lincoln's Inn Great Hall


Download the poster for the event (pdf).


For ticket enquiries please contact [email protected]
Students / pupils £10.
All others £30.
Ticket numbers are limited so please reserve now to avoid disappointment.

The Need for This Conference

The prosecution and subsequent de registration of Dr Waney Squier, a leading expert on baby shaking, represents the deepest blow to the integrity of the justice system. It must cause concern to all of us who rely heavily on experts such as Dr Squier, who have the ability and courage to challenge the prevailing scientific orthodoxy, that her testimony is now prevented following her referral by the police to the GMC. There is the prospect now of countless wrongful convictions because defence witnesses, particularly those who challenge the consensus, are fearful of giving evidence given the atrocious treatment of Dr Squier.

By contrast the Courts have applied a liberal approach to prosecution experts. In the last two decades there has been increased reliance by the prosecution upon a wide range of scientific experts. Such expert evidence has convicted innocent people because juries are not equipped to deal with complex scientific data. Often expert evidence, such as analysis of DNA, can form the sole basis for conviction. Yet juries convict because of a perception that science cannot be wrong. The vicious cycle of scientific orthodoxy and injustice goes on and on.

Dr Waney Squire in not alone, in recent years a others have challenged the integrity of traditional science underpinning the evidence of establishment experts. For doing so such courageous individuals have been subject to intense scrutiny by the establishment.

In refugee determination the evidence of medical evidence is central to the torture claim. Faced with evidence of systematic torture practiced by the Sri Lankan army and police, the Home Office raised the issue of SIBP (self infliction by proxy) inferring that there is a practice of Sri Lankan asylum seekers paying agents to inflict scars on them by consent to enhance asylum claims. Experts in torture now face an additional requirement that they address whether asylum applicants have self inflicted by proxy in order for their medico legal reports to carry weight. This is absurdity of the highest level.

This conference brings together some of these experts and asks what does the future hold for forensic evidence and in particularly the integrity of our justice system.


Michael Mansfield QC

Is Britain's most high-profile defence lawyer, whose unparalleled commitment to his clients and radical approach to forensics, evidence and disclosure have made him a scourge of the establishment and a champion of the individual in many miscarriages of justice cases. Passionate about unveiling corruption and unafraid to challenge received wisdom, he has taken on many of the most controversial cases of our times, including the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, Angela Cannings, Jill Dando and Barry George, Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana, Stephen Lawrence, Arthur Scargill and the miners, the tragic death of Jean Charles de Menezes and, most recently the Hillsborough Inquiry.

Clive Stafford Smith OBE

After graduating from Columbia Law School in New York, Clive worked at the Southern Center for Human Rights before moving to New Orleans and launched the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center, a non-profit law office specialising in representation of poor people in death penalty cases. In total, Clive has represented over 300 prisoners facing the death penalty and only took on the cases of those who could not afford a lawyer. He has prevented the death penalty in all but six cases (a 98% “victory” rate). Few lawyers ever take a case to the US Supreme Court – Clive has taken five, and all of the prisoners prevailed. On his return to the UK he set up Reprieve representing detainees in Guantánamo Bay. Clive has helped secure the release of 69 prisoners from Guantánamo Bay (including every British prisoner). Clive has received a great many awards and honours. In 2000 he was awarded an OBE for ‘humanitarian services’. He was a Soros Senior Fellow, Rowntree Visionary (2005) and Echoing Green Fellow (2005). In addition, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Lawyer Magazine (2003) and The Law Society, the Benjamin Smith Award from the ACLU of Louisiana (2003), the Gandhi Peace Award (2004), a Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Award (2008), International Freedom of the Press Award (2009) and the International BarAssociation’s Human Rights Award (2010).

Dr Waney Squier

Is an internationally-renowned Consultant Neuropathologist of to the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals and Honorary Clinical lecturer in the University of Oxford. Dr Squire has been a consultant neuropathologist since 1984, having trained at the Institute of Psychiatry and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Squier was among the first in the world to recognize the criminal justice implications of scientific research that cast doubt on the medical hypothesis known as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). She has been relentless and courageous in seeking to prevent this frequently accepted but unproven hypothesis from sustaining or producing wrongful convictions. Her influence has been felt around the world, as she has written reports and/or testified in more than 160 cases in Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Through scores of peer-reviewed articles, invited lectures, and television appearances, Dr. Squier has sought to inform prosecutors, defence lawyers, coroners, forensic pathologists, and the public at large that the SBS hypothesis has caused, and will continue to cause, miscarriages of justice when accepted uncritically. She has had a particularly strong voice that has encouraged innocence organizations throughout the Network to devote more and more resources to examining the integrity of convictions that were premised on the SBS hypothesis. This scrutiny has contributed to at least 19 exonerations in the United States, with more abroad and many more cases in the pipeline. Dr. Squier has been personally involved in a number of these cases.

Dr Michael Powers (tbc)

Dr Powers has over 30 years' experience at the bar in all areas of medico-legal practice focusing on medical, scientific and legal causation. He has published three books on Coroners law (with Dr Paul Knapman) and, in addition to papers and chapters in various medico-legal texts and book, he has been the principal editor of clinical negligence - the leading multi-contributor authority on the subject for over 25 years. His other main interests as a medical negligence QC relate to the investigation of deaths (coroners and other inquiries) and he was appointed president of the South East England Coroners' Society in 1987 and elected a Fellow of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians in 2007.

Dr Powers has a deep commitment to social justice and ensuring that the poor and vulnerable have access to justice. To that end he has taken on a number of pro bono cases and campaigns. This includes the campaign for "Robbie's Law" - a legal duty of candour forcing healthcare providers to inform families when things go wrong. His most well publicised pro bono case was the fight for and achievement of justice for the deceased pilots Flt Lts Jonathan Tapper and Rick Cook in the Mull of Kintyre RAF Chinook ZD 576 Disaster on 2nd June 1994. Following the sad death of Charlotte Shaw (aged 14) on a Ten Tors school training expedition in 2007. There was a long campaign, Inquest and Court of Appeal hearing alleging that her school was negligent in allowing her and other children to walk unaccompanied in atrocious weather conditions. Ultimately the Court of Appeal found that whilst a teacher was negligent in not being able to navigate to the Tor to meet the children, it was speculative as to what would have happened had she arrived there and sufficient causal link between her absence and Charlotte’s death could not be established.

David Rhys-Jones

Is a policy advisor at the Helen Bamber Foundation. David has worked with refugees and asylum seekers for over 25 years. He has monitored the detention of torture survivors in the UK since the Detention Centre Rules were introduced in 2001. The Helen Bamber Foundation was founded in 2005 as a collective of human rights specialists who respond with compassion and creativity to the legacy of cruelty.

Allan Jamieson

Professor Allan Jamieson is the Director of The Forensic Institute and is a world renown DNA expert who, coupled with extensive casework experience proficient in DNA and the biological sciences, is a consultant to lawyers in the UK the USA and all over Europe. He was instrumental in the challenges to the use of the LCN DNA technique in the Omagh Bomb trial [R v Hoey] and in the English Appeal Court case of Reed. Provided written evidence and advice in hundreds of cases in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and one case in Australia, one in New Zealand, and two in the USA (as amicus) He has consistently challenged the abuse of the technique in Court. Professor Jamieson is also the Co-editor in Chief of Wileys Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences - a five volume work leaving no stone unturned or lacking in forensic examination. He is also a visiting Professor of Forensic Sciences, Staffordshire University, Member of The Forensic Science Society and an external examiner for forensic sciences at Edinburgh University