Hercules Verdict. Press Conference

Anthony Andrews and Bernard Hill in The Law Lord

The Law Lord

Country File BBC1

Dr. Crippen Appeal.

Newsnight BBC

Pro Bono Award.


Iran_political_massacre_John_ Cooper







John Cooper has been involved in some of the most important cases of recent time both for the Prosecution and Defence. They include :

- R v Chambers representing the Appellant in the 'Twitter Joke Trial'.

- Re Michael Steele, representing the Appellant in 'The Essex Boys' case.

- Corporation of London v Tammy Samede, representing OCCUPY in the St Paul's Case.

Aquittals this year include,

R v Koubari and Others, a £1billion Class A Conspiracy

R v Kavuala, a gangland murder at the Old Bailey.


- B.C.C.I – the world's largest fraud in which he successfully represented the employees

- Leah Betts ecstasy trial (R v Packman), successfully defending in the trial that shocked the Nation resulting in graphic pictures of Leah Betts in intensive care following an ecstasy overdose. The facts of this case, led to the so-called “Essex Boys” murders in Rettendon, Essex which was later made into a film staring Billy Murray.

- Finsbury Park Mosque Case – John Successfully represented the Son of Abu Hamza at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

- R v Mioubi – He represented a defendant arrested in the recent ricin factory raid.

- In the many murder trials in which he has led for either the Prosecution or Defence, John Cooper QC has been involved in some of the most notorious trials of the last decade, including the Columbian Contract killings at the Old Bailey – R v Jaramillo and many others. He was asked to advise Barry George on his conviction for the murder of Jill Dando.

He also achieved the first murder/manslaughter acquittal for Jayne Downes, following a “battered women” defence.

- In R v Shafiq John succeeded in gaining acquittal of the longest serving remand prisoner in Britain on Class A drugs importation.

- In a shooting which caused national outrage, John Cooper gained £¼ million compensation for the girlfriend of an innocent man JAMES ASHBY shot dead by Police Officers in his bed (Courtland-Smith v The Police) in Eastbourne .

- Mr Cooper represented the family of an employee of Gordon Ramsey at an inquest in which John cross-examined Mr Ramsey. Gordon Ramsey was later to recall in his Sunday Times Column the harrowing effect of this cross-examination.

- The many serious fraud trials conducted by John Cooper, include the largest ‘homeworkers' fraud in British history where he led for the first defendant, Smith, and he achieved an acquittal for Wayne Edwards in one of the first fully computerized VAT frauds in England. He regularly appears in cases mounted by the Federation Against Copyright Theft.

- In R v Pomeroy , Cooper defended a man accused of a multi million pound DVD copyright fraud, involving the consideration of over 40 million documents.

- His work on Deepcut has resulted in a number of Judicial Review Applications on behalf of the bereaved families on Article 2 and 3 ECRH points and on the Pension rights of soldiers - see Re Biddiss in the Administrative Court.

- In R v Kai Whitewind, John Cooper represented a mother, referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General as a result of the Roy Meddows allegations.

- Cooper succesfully defended a Royal Protection Officer accused of kidnapping and assaulting a Sun photographer, see R v Paul Page.

- In R v Marcel Davies, Cooper represented a Defendant in one of the most violent Torture case to be heard in 2007

- He represented the Louise woodward & Manjit Basuta campaign for Justice for the two nannies imprisoned in America for child murder.

- His legal media work includes representing Lord Ahmed in his prospective privacy claim against the Government alleging telephone tapping.

R v Carl Page heachieved aquittal in largest Post Office Fraud ever prosecuted.

Cooper led for the defence in R v Stationis a complex and notorious serial stranger rapist ( the " Boilerhouse" case) involving detailed cross examination of Expert DNA evidence.

John Cooper QC was first on the indictment in 'The Hand From The Sky ' murder trial [ R v Riaz and Others ].

R v Onile Huggins, defended in the 'Stranger Rapist' case involving multiple rapes on the same victim over a year.

R v Bradley Bessant, a murder at Bristol Crown Court

R v Simeon Smith, an alleged gang-land murder at the Old Bailey

R v Buchanan, where he led for the defence in a ten week murder trial relating to a gang killing.

R v Minchev Cooper defended in a Terrorist related passport forgery conspiracy where all five defendants pleaded guilty except Minchev , who was duly found not guilty after trial

R v Kahn and Others , Slough Election Fraud.

R v Paul Page , Royal Protection Police Fraud.John Cooper QC defended in the case which challenged the heart of security at Buckingham Palace.

John is taking a series of cases through the domestic courts examining the impact of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights upon the imprisonment of special needs people, including HETHERINGTON in the Court of Appeal in 2009.


Representing Lord Ahmed in his Privacy action against the Government.

Representing acclaimed film Producer, Alexander Salkind in his libel action relating to his film, 'Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.' [Directed by John Glen.]

Ponting v News Group Newspapers; MGN Ltd; Express Newspapers; Defamation, copyright and privacy action in Russian spy case.

Majestic Films Ltd v Highlight Communication; Defamation action for film producer.

Legal Advisor on Defamation for various BBC Films, including, Shaddow of the Noose; A Sense of Guilt; Parnell; Newsnight; Panorama; Dispatches.

Former Advisor to Sunday Times (solicitor, Sean McTiernan) on libel matters.

Advising various National and local politicians on libel and issues relating to Election Campaigns.

Advising Police Forces . including the Metropolitan Police on Data Protection., CCTV and Privacy.

Advising forensic internet company, DataSec on Data Protection issues.

Advised heir to Tetra Pak fortune, Hans Kristian Rausing, in relation to his potential defamation action against the Evening Standard.



- Leading Prosecutor in The Iran Tribunal Hearings at The Peace Palace in The Hague, October 2012.

Professor John Cooper QC is the Chair of the Steering Committee of The Iran Tribunal, investigaing death and torture in Iran in the 1980's.

Advised Government of Slovakia on Criminal Justice, Human Rights policy. (Jaroslav Volf ) 1998

Advisor to Cambodian Government on War Crimes Trials. (Cambodian Embassy) 2000. Advised, Om Yentieng, Advisor to the Cambodian Prime Minister and President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, Phenom Penh.

Invited to present Paper on Human Rights in Beijing, China. (British Council, Yani Peng) 2004.

Drafted advice re Bill of Rights in Nepal (Statute Law Revision Committee) 2002.

Addressed American Bar Association on Criminal court procedure. (ABA Conference) 2007.

Represented Spanish Defendant in Madrid on Money Laundering Allegations. R v Perez. ( instructed by Fernandez De La Riva, Madrid.) 2005-2006.

Member of Australian Bar. Call 1989.

Member of Bar Human Rights Committee.

Successfully representing some of the Families in the NIMROD and HERCULES aircraft litigation relating to their Article 2 claim against the Government for failure to provide proper equiptment in the Theatre of War.


Re David Kelly. Into the reopening of the Inquest into the death of the Government Weapons Inspector.

Re Dr Crippen To overturn the conviction of Hawley Harvey Crippen following the discovery of new DNA evidence.

Re Danny Burns ex parte Woolwich Crown Court. Law Society Gazette. January 10th 2010 at page 15, on Wednesbury unreasonable bail refusals.

Re Exeter Crown Court, two hearings on Section 101 of theMagistrates Courts Act 1980, reverse persuasive burdens of proof for exceptions to summary offences.

Re Northern Rock, hearing concerning the valuation of Shares pursuant to Article 1 Protocol 1, right to property, on behalf of the Shareholders Action Group.

Re Biddiss, a hearing which determined the legality of MOD redundancy procedures in relation to members of the Armed Forces.

See also, John Cooper's publication for Sweet and Maxwell, 'Judicial Review from the Magistrates Court', published in 1999.

Re Geoff Gray, a hearing into the Deepcut deaths.


Significant Inquests include;

The forthcoming inquest into the death of Micheal Pritchard.

Puma Helicopter crash. Hearing resumes, December 7th 2009.

James Collinson, The Deepcut Inquest.

John Cooper was referred to in the House of Commons when MPs recognised his work for the Deepcut families. They said the hearing was “an opportunity for Counsel to cross-examine in a very robust and thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding James Collinsons death” Pete Wishart MP

( see Hansard 3 May 2006 )

Gordon Gentle. John Cooper was instructed Pro Bono in this matter in March 2006 and worked on the case until August 2007. He did not appear in the full inquest hearing.

The Gordon Ramsey Inquest into the death of his employee.

The Hercules Inquest, into the largest loss of life in one combat incident since the Second World War.

Advising on the Geoff Gray Inquest, a further Deepcut Death.

See also John Cooper's Column in New Law Journal, 25th April 2008, page 569, on the Inquest Procedure and the ' Diana inquest'.

John also advises the Bar Council on matters relating to Coronial justice and has been involved in working parties from bereaved families, to provide comment on the forthcoming Coroners Act.

Re SMITH (Initially instructed in case of Deceased Soldier in Iraq,; Case went to High Court on Article 2 point establishing Human Rights Act applicability to members of the Armed Forces)

Re CRAW (Initially instructed in case of deceased soldier in Iraq who died after being shot on a shooting range.)

His leading textbook , 'Inquests' is published by Hart Publishing with a Foreword by the Lord Chief Justice.


Health and Safety.

John was appointed to the Attorney General's A- List, to Prosecute in the most serious Health and Safety and Environmental Regulatory cases, which include;

HSE v Sealine Internatonal Limited.

HSE v Hoggnheim Ltd

HSE v Coventry Steel Limited.......

all case involving factory place fatalities.

Leading work involving complex Friskies Schedules and interpretation of Friskies Pet Care case and R v Howe.

Cooper's work includes both Prosecution and Defence and he has presented seminars to the HSE on jury presentation of complex regulatory cases.

Sports Law.

John Cooper has presented Papers and Seminars on this developing area of law, most recently at the 4th Annual Sports Law Conference in London (2007).

He has been instructed in a diverse range of casework, from the Kennel Club to individual sports people on disciplinary matters.

John Bestobroer, representing the UK Paraolympic Volleyball Coach

Advising footballer Andy Gray and presenter Richard Keyes.

Representing Greek Sprinter, Katerina Thanou in her case against the International Olympic Committee. [ instructed by Dr Greg Ioannidis.]

Environmental Regulations.

Cooper was appointed to the Attorney General's A-List to prosecute in the most serious cases involving Envoronmental Regulation. He has also represented numerous Local Authorities, including Kensington and Chelsea in Regulatory matters. Perhaps his most notable case was Re Poulton, in which a woman who contaminated large areas of public land with bread for pigeons , was prosecuted under the Environmental Legislation.


John has advised the Showmans Guild of Great Britain, on Fairground regulation, in particular, as a result of a fatality on a fairground ride.


John Cooper has been invited to serve on the following Commission Working Groups.

- Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide, (Law Com No 304)

-The Admissibility of Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings in England and Wales, ( March 2011, Law Com No 190)..

John Cooper's Case Precedents include.

Allen v Avon Rubber Co Ltd[1985] TLR.(Factories Act 1961;Health and Safety.).

R vCentral Criminal Court Ex Parte, S [1998] FLR(WitnessAnonymity).

R v Wrench (Indictment) (1996) 1 Cr App R 340

R v Whitewind (Murder) [2005] EWCA Crim 1092, 2 Cr App R 31

R v Baker & Ward (Duress) (1999) 2 Cr App R 335

Arthur v Anker (leading authority on wheel clamping) [1996] 2 All E R 283

R v Hussain Bahador (sex cases [2005] EWCA Crim 396)

A [ 2005] UKHL 71. Cooper's Book on Torture cited with approval by Lord Hope.

R v Dean La Haye [2006] 1 Cr App R 11; [2006] Crim L R 241; [2005] EWCA Crim 2847; The Times, October 25th 2005. (Alternative Verdicts )

R v Barry George [ 2002] EWCA Crim 1923; [2003] Crim L R 282. (Asked to advise prior to hearing ) Advised regarding reference to Criminal Cases Review Commission.

R v Gardner [2004] EWCA Crim 1639 ; 68 JCL 372 CA; ( Expert Evidence, facial mapping. Represented Appellant at first instance and drafted grounds )

R v Gary Abnett, [2006] All E R (D) 244Archbold News August 2006. (Expert Evidence, facial mapping, represented Crown).

R v Paul Alfred Little [2008] EWCA Crim 235. Hearsay under Section 116(2) (d) Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Re Danny Burns ex parte Woolwich Crown Court. Law Society Gazette. January 10th 2010 page 15.

Alagaratnam v R [2010] EWCA Crim 1506; [2011] Crim L R 232.

Awards & Recognition

Queen's Counsel. March 2010.

Bencher, Middle Temple 2012.

Visiting Professor of Law. December 2010

Freeman of the City of London [Cooper's Livery].. February 2011.

"A rising star of the Criminal Bar" The Times, 2006.

"Gifted, and above all, utterly reliable......" Chambers and Partners 2008. - The Times, February 2006

Pro Bono Barrister of the Year 2008 , Citation.

Shortlisted Pro Bono Barrister of the Year 2012.

Human Rights Barrister of the Year, Shortlisted Liberty/ Justice/ Law Society, 2008 and nominated for the same award in 2009..

-Commended as Barrister of the Year [The Lawyer Awards] (1998)

-Entry in Chambers & Partners UK Directory as Leading Criminal Barrister and Civil Liberties Barrister in London

- Entry in Who's Who since 2010..

- Entry in Debretts People of Today as one of the most influential people in his field

- Lawyer of the Week, The Times, November 12th 2009.

- A- List barrister on the Attorney- General Prosecuting panel for the most serious cases.

-Grade 4 (most serious cases) prosecutor in London.

-John was a Commissioner on Lambeth Council's Children First Commission which examined child care in that region. Lambeth Children First Commission was established by Lambeth Borough Council in June 2000. It was the first initiative of its kind in the country. It was set up to scrutinise Lambeth Borough Council's performance, in a very public way, as corporate parent to the children and young people it looks after.

Shortlisted for Best Pro Bono Activity 1998, The Lawyer Awards.

Commended in Barrister of the year category of The Lawyer Annual Awards for 1998.

Public Relations Campaign of the year ( Abolition of Hunting.). PR Week Awards 1998.


Called to the Bar of England and Wales – 1983

Called to the Bar of New South Wales, Australia – 1989

John is a member of Middle Temple

He is also a member of the Bar Council ( www.barcouncil.org.uk ), and was Vice-Chair of their Public Affairs Committee between 2008 - 2010. He was a member of the Bar Conference Organising Committee for the 2008 and 2009. He is a regular spokesperson for issues relating to the Law and the Bar.

Vice-Chair of the 2010 Bar Conference Organising Committee.

He is a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee.

Chair of the Bar Council Group considering the Coroners Act and the new Criminal Procedure Act. 2009.

John is a member of the Criminal Bar Association and Editor of their quarterly magazine, Criminal Bar Quaterly ( www.criminalbar.com ).

Member of Newcastle University Law Faculty Advisory Board 2012-

Academic Advisor to London Universities London Law Review.

Honorary Advisor to University College London's Jurisprudence Review.

Judge in London Law Review Mooting Final. Royal Courts of Justice, February, 2007.

Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

Advocacy Trainer at the Middle Temple School of Advocacy.

John is a member of the Citizenship Foundation's School Mock Trial Committee

Professor Cooper has been appointed to ' Reprieves' Fundraising Committee..

Conference Speeches and Papers: Include;

'Liability by Satellite; The Legal Minefield for Mobile Services.'

Satellite Communications Conference, London, 1988

' Genocide'. The International Law Conference, Law Society, 2002. Chaired by Mr Justice Fulford.

'The Human Rights Act- An International Perspective'. Human Rights and the Rule of Law Conference, Nepal, 2002

' Private Grief:Privacy, Breach of Confidence and Interception of Communications' Law Society Lectures, 2002.

' Broadcasting The Courtroom'. Royal Society Lecture, 2005.

' The Evidential Value of Email'. London, 2005

' The Rule of Law; Where now?' London Law Review Conference, Royal Courts of Justice, 2006.

' Interception of Communication'. 5th Annual Covert Policing Conference, London, 2006

'Due Process versus Administrative Action; The Future of Disciplinary Proceedings'. Getting Perspective on the Disciplinary Process- Annual Sports Law Conference, London, 2007.

'Offending Patterns and Criminal Profiling of Individuals who Hunt with Dogs'. Relationship Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence International Conference, Keble College, Oxford University, 2007

'Street Surveillance; The Law, Issues and Future'. 6th Annual Covert Policing Conference, Stormont, Belfast, 2007.

' Human Rights and Military Justice'. Human Rights Law Conference (JUSTICE), London, 2007.

' Monitoring the Public; The Law, the Issues and Practicalities'. Local Authorities Annual Conference, London, 2007.

'The Art of Cross examination' American Bar Association Conference, London, October, 2007

Witness Anonymity; Butterworth Criminal Law Conference, London, December 2010.

Vulnerable Witnesses; Middle Temple, London, February 2011

The Ewan Davies Lecture, ' Losing your innocence- 14 years of the Criminal Cases Review Commission ' Cardiff University 18th May 2011.

Privacy and recent developments: Weber Shandwick Lecture, May 2011.



' Whistleblowers; Evidential Value and Use'.British Medical Journal Vol 305 p1343 and Solicitors Journal Vol 136 p 1166.

Fair Trials; An Analysis of the Louise Woodward Hearing. Amicus Curiae, March 1998 p18.

'Article 3 and the Road to Ultra Violence'. University College , London, Jurisprudence Review, 2007.

'Tolerating Torture- A Critique of the Court's Interpretation of Article 3 of the ECHR'. Kurdish Human Rights Project Legal Review (2007) 11 KHRP.

'The Sentencing Guidelines Council- A Practical Perspective'. [2008] Criminal Law Review 277.

For Archbold News.

' Disclosure and Abuse of Process ' June 2008.

Taking Instructions and withdrawal from the case. July 2008.

Corroboration of sexual offences and abuse of process. July 2003 page 4.

For New Law Journal.

From the Taylor Twins to Leah Betts. Vol 147 p 963.

The role of evil in the criminal justice system. 6th June 2008. 800.

' A Step Too Far- Solicitors Duties in Police Interview'. (1999) 868

' Should the Judiciary be influenced by the social climate of the day when they make their decisions?' (2006) 1896

' Who should decide the parametres of justice?' (2007) 1168.

' The legal profession has a duty to stand up to executive intimidation'. (2007) 1628

' Cruelty to animals indicates a telling propensity for violent behavior'. (2007) 828.

' The jurisprudential gold standard of torture needs to be revisited'. (2007) 496.

' Is the balance of justice shifting too far in favour of victims?'. (2007) 236.

' A significant proportion of Tony Blair's reforms have been forced upon him by crisis.' (2007) 648.

' Non- disclosure is as much in the interests of justice as disclosure.' (2007) 380.

' Why do we allow revenge and neglect it play such major roles in our justice systems?'. (2007) 81.

' Education, not more legislation, will help the public understand and respect the law'. (2007) 1441.

' It is time to recognise the benefits of Restorative justice'. (2007) 988.

' Swift justice, although desirable, is not always the best course.' (2007) 1248.

' The British penal system deprives prisoners of basic citizen's rights'. (2007) 1745.

' Disclosure: Is the Crown complying with its duty?' (2008) 227.

' 1998-2008: State and Citizen- When two parties break up'. (2008) 80.

' Extradition and retrospectivity'. (2008) 428.

' Establishing the truth can take time.' (2008) 569.

For The Lawyer; 2000-2003.

'Cuts in the justice system are criminal'

'No justice in limiting rights to a jury.'

' The cost of changing the system.'

' When 'guilty' is the better choice'.

' Will fair pay give a fair trial?'.

' Excessive strain falls on jury members.'

' Straw's scheme offers nothing new- Victim Personal Statements.'

' Hooligans prove rights are not equal.'

Regular writing for the Criminal Law and Justice Weekly as its Consultant Editor.

Columnist for The Times and Feature Writer since 1999.

Writer for The Observer 2010 to present.

For The Independent.

'Are innocent people being kept in detention?' 28th November 2007.

" To read some of John Cooper's writing for New Law Journal, press here."

19982008 State and citizen when two parties break up Disclosure: is the crown complying with its duty? Establishing the truth can take time says John Cooper Extradition and retrospectivity The role of evil in the criminal justice system

Held to Account - Developments on Doli Incapax. (2008) 941.

Surveillance and Privacy - Where the boundaries blur. (2008) 1053.

Challenging Regulatory Bodies - The Future. (2008) 1354

Papers for the Bar Council.

' Deferral of Call' 2004.

'Protecting property and the person within the law' 2007

'The Coroners Act' 2007.

'Sentencing Guidelines' 2008.

Books and Publications.

' Planning and Environmental law bulletin' Longmans 1991.

' Judicial Review from the magistrates court.' Sweet and Maxwell. 1999

' Police Interviews' Sweet and Maxwell 1999

' Cruelty- An analysis of Article 3. Sweet and Maxwell. 2002.

' The Courts Act 2003'. Sweet and Maxwell. 2004.

' The Link Between Human and Animal Violence.' Sussex University Press. 2009.

' Inquests' with a Foreword by the Lord Chief Justice Hart Publishing. May, 2011.

' Cases that changed our lives ' LexisNexis 2010.

' Encyclopedia of data protection and privacy'. Contributing Author. Sweet and Maxwell. 2004---

Introduction To Data Protectio and Privacy



Cheap Justice - John discusses legal aid cuts with David Greene and David Allison for New Law Journal and Criminal Justice Weekly.