The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man who sent Charles I to the Scaffold

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Random House, Jul 6, 2010 - History - 448 pages
24 Reviews

Charles I waged civil wars that cost one in ten Englishmen their lives. But in 1649 parliament was hard put to find a lawyer with the skill and daring to prosecute a King who was above the law: in the end the man they briefed was the radical barrister, John Cooke.

Cooke was a plebeian, son of a poor farmer, but he had the courage to bring the King's trial to its dramatic conclusion: the English republic. Cromwell appointed him as a reforming Chief Justice in Ireland, but in 1660 he was dragged back to the Old Bailey, tried and brutally executed.

John Cooke was the bravest of barristers, who risked his own life to make tyranny a crime. He originated the right to silence, the 'cab rank' rule of advocacy and the duty to act free-of-charge for the poor. He conducted the first trial of a Head of State for waging war on his own people - a forerunner of the prosecutions of Pinochet, Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, and a lasting inspiration to the modern world.

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Review: The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold

User Review  - Julie - Goodreads

every page was gripping in fine research and Robertson's telling with wit and insight into how the past is present. Read full review

Review: The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold

User Review  - Gaby Chapman - Goodreads

An amazing moment in history, where centuries in the future peeked through for a brief interlude. A great addition to the trove of great books about English history. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Geoffrey Robertson QC is a leading human rights lawyer and a UN war-crimes judge. He has been counsel in many notable Old Bailey trials, has defended hundreds of men facing death sentences in the Caribbean, and has won landmark rulings on civil liberty from the highest courts in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth. He was involved in cases against General Pinochet and Hastings Banda, and in the training of judges who tried Saddam Hussein. His book Crimes against Humanity has been an inspiration for the global justice movement, and he is the author of an acclaimed memoir, The Justice Game, and the textbook Media Law. He is married to Kathy Lette. Mr Robertson is Head of Doughty Street Chambers, a Master of the Middle Temple, a Recorder and visiting professor at Queen Mary College, University of London.

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