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Nol Sweeney

Profile: CV

Robert Spicer
Frederick Place Chambers
Nol Sweeney

1. Bar:
I have been a practising barrister for over twent five ears. !he main
areas of law I have practised in are criminal law and h"man rights and animal
law. Recentl I have completed a detailed co"rse in emploment law to revive
m interest in those areas which I previo"sl practised in relation to the
workplace. !he areas incl"de b"lling# age and se$ discrimination# stress at
work and "nfair dismissal. In that respect I represent both emploee and
emploer as each are entitled to dignit and fairness while at work.
%an of m cases are concerned with the civil and criminal aspects of the
&ealth and Safet legislation. 'iven the impact of the (ct on emploers and
emploees# the dail effect on all areas of o"r working lives is increasing and
challenging in e)"al meas"re.
*. Practice:
% practice in those areas of law involves dealing with comple$
and serio"s cases of a wide variet. !he areas I cover incl"de animal ab"se and
cr"elt# confiscation and mone la"ndering# discrimination# "nfair dismissal#
white+collar fra"d and m"rder. %an of the cases involve research and technical
iss"es which in t"rn necessitate the "se of e$perts s"ch as Pschiatrists#
Pschologists and Forensic Scientists.
,. I also represent man mentall+ill defendants in the Co"rts and occasionall
as patients in the %ental &ealth Review !rib"nal.
-. Mediator:
I am an (ccredited %ediator and am available for all aspects of
civil disp"tes partic"larl those involving sensitive iss"es that re)"ire a
personable and pragmatic approach. !o that end I am patient and "nderstanding.
For m part I place mself in the shoes of each participant and so listen closel
to what each side wants as a resol"tion to their .oint problem.
/. Appeal:
I have a wide e$perience in the Co"rt of (ppeal and a developing
practice in 0"dicial Review. Recentl I applied for 0"dicial Review of a decision
of the 'overnor of 1 Prison and the 'overnor of 2 Prison# respectivel. 3"r
claim was the first 'overnor had wrongl moved the prisoner while the second
'overnor had now ref"sed to move him closer to his home. Initiall he had had
visits from his wife and his mother. (fter he was moved to the new Prison it
was so far awa the res"lt was his neither his wife nor his mother co"ld
phsicall and4or financiall afford to visit him. 5e applied for a review of their
decisions as each of the 'overnors6 breached his 7right to a famil life6 "nder
article 8 of the Convention as neither his pregnant wife nor his ailing mother
co"ld visit him. Indeed his mother was grieving for her onl other son who had
been m"rdered. Shortl before o"r appeal the decided to move him to a prison
near his home.
9. Recentl we appealed to the Co"rt of (ppeal in a case that t"rned on the
interpretation of the Civil Partnership (ct *::-. !hat area is d"e to become
even more important with the change in the stat"s of same se$ marriages and
challenges on moral and ethical as well as legal gro"nds.
;. Human Right:
I have taken a special interest in the &"man Rights
0"rispr"dence beca"se of the impact of it on all areas of <nglish =aw. I was a
Facilitator for the Bar Co"ncil on the &"man Rights Co"rses for fellow
barristers and thereafter have practised it in all areas of law.
8. (llied to that position I have given lect"res on the effect of the &"man Rights
(ct to local Solicitors. Similarl I have given in+ho"se talks to charitable gro"ps
on its impact generall and specificall in relation to the %ental &ealth (ct.
>. I tend to "se the Convention in all areas of practice as it impinges on so man
aspects of all areas of law when interpreted and "sed creativel. It has a direct
relevance to the welfare and rights of all of "s across the spectr"m of law in o"r
dail lives. <)"all it applies no less when deciding whether an animal has a
right to live.
1:. Animal !aw:
I have had a long+term interest in all aspects of (nimal =aw.
In connection with that I have appeared on local and national radio incl"ding
Radio -# BBC Bristol and Radio Scotland to disc"ss the legal aspects of animal
and h"man rights. !he other participants incl"ded Professor Peter Singer# the
foremost a"thorit in the world on the philosoph of 7animal rights6. I have also
participated in a live debate on legal iss"es relating to animal welfare on
television. !he a"dience incl"ded e$perts from man different organisations and
professions s"ch as the R.S.P.C.(. =.(.C.S. and philosophers and police
11. I was a g"est speaker at the (nn"al Conference of the Police 5ildlife
=iaison 3fficers where m chosen s"b.ect was Violence and Speciesism.
Similarl I was a g"est =ect"rer at Bath Spa ?niversit and the ?niversit of
the 5est of <ngland on The Cycle of Cruelty: The Connection between Animal
and Child Abuse. In *:1, I p"blished the seminal book on animals and criminal
law: Animals-in-Law.
1*. I have written a st"d of the ma.or criminal legislation affecting animals.
(s a res"lt I have had articles commissioned b the BBC 5ildlife %aga@ine
and the then 0"stice of the Peace. (n e$ample of m writing on this s"b.ect can
be seen at: A Birds ye-View of Cats and !o"s and #urder: A*:1:B and An Animals
$mbudswoman A*:1,B.
1,. In 0"ne *:1- I was interviewed in detail on the 5ild 5est Show on Bristol
BCF% on the ab"se of v"lnerable women and children and animals. (t present I
am engaged on an "n"s"al area of research which e$plores the legal relationship
between feminism and animal rights.
1-. Micarriage of "utice:
I have researched "n"s"al #iscarria"es of
%ustice that involve the ordinar man or woman# s"ch as (dolph Beck and
Cevin Callan# ca"ght "p in the net of a criminal trial when the are b d"e
process convicted and sentenced# b"t are "n)"estionabl and later proven to be
innocent. !hese Cases have a resonance beca"se often the Defendant spends
ears behind bars# is r"ined "pon release# et was let down b the ver sstem
that is meant to protect them. It is a &there-but-for- fortune scenario that
magnifies the flaws of o"r law. For given the wrong set of circ"mstances each
and ever one of "s co"ld be ca"ght in the net of crime and time and convicted
while onl being g"ilt of innocence.
1/. Peronal:
% main interests are g"itar# m"sic# rambling# reading# skiing#
swimming# woodwork and writing.
19. 3n the basis that everone needs a shed I have recentl constr"cted oneE
working witho"t a plan or a bl"eprint I simpl c"t and hacked and sawed and
screwed plank+after+plank from floor to the roof. It now stands pro"dl as a
place to hide from the elements and a man+made sanct"ar when the demands
are too man and the ho"rs too few.
1;. I tr to keep fit and several times I have completed the '(ace for Life) for
victims of breast cancer. I recentl completed a 1/ mile walk on behalf of the
5eston+s"per+%are &ospice. !here are so man wild sights to satisf an mind
while hiking beneath a s"nn Somerset sk.

F. C. Sweene