Geoffrey Robertson QC is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, the largest human rights practice in the UK. He has appeared in the courts of many countries as counsel in leading cases in constitutional, criminal and international law and served as the first President of the UN War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone, where he authored a landmark decision on the illegality of recruiting child soldiers. He defended in the last two cases brought for blasphemy in Britain (against Salman Rushdie and Gay News), represented Catholic lawyers and youth workers detained without trial by Lee Kwan Yew and was counsel in Bowman v United Kingdom, which established the right of Catholics to campaign effectively against abortion laws during elections. He sits as a recorder and as a master of Middle Temple and a visiting professor of human rights law at Queen Mary College. In 2008, he was appointed as a distinguished jurist member of the UN Justice Council. His books include Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice, a memoir, The Justice Game and The Tyrannicide Brief, an award winning study of the trial of Charles I.
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The Case of the Pope delivers a devastating indictment of the way the Vatican has run a secret legal system that shields paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world. Is the Pope morally or legally responsible for the negligence that has allowed so many terrible crimes to go unpunished? Should he and his seat of power, the Holy See, continue to enjoy an immunity that places them above the law? Geoffrey Robertson QC, a distinguished human rights lawyer and judge, evinces a deep respect for the good works of Catholics and their church. But, he argues, unless Pope Benedict XVI can divest himself of the beguilements of statehood and devotion to obsolescent canon law, the Vatican will remain a serious enemy to the advance of human rights.
“A challenge no thoughtful Catholic can ignore” – Helena Kennedy
“An utterly brilliant, brave, and oh-so-timely book … It puts Ratzinger squarely in the frame” – Lisa Appignanesi