Chambers & Partners 2015
Chambers & Partners 2013
Chambers & Partners 2012
Chambers & Partners 2011
Legal 500 2011
Chambers and Partners 2009
Chambers and Partners 2007
Chambers and Partners 2006
Mark George Q.C. is a highly experienced defence trial advocate of more than 35 years call. He is regularly instructed in cases of murder, manslaughter, rape and other serious sexual cases. Before he took silk he was regularly briefed in serious cases of historic sexual assault, often representing teachers and carers. In silk he continues to defend in such cases. His extensive experience also includes many appearances in drug importation cases involving massive amounts of illegal drugs as well as other serious cases involving amongst others allegations of attempted murder.
Mark also has considerable experience of hearings before the Parole Board where he represents prisoners, particularly before lifer panels and has advised in many cases involving serving prisoners and their rights in areas such as sentence calculation and security categorisation. Mark undertakes judicial review work relating to prison law and criminal law such as challenges to decisions of the CCRC.
Mark undertakes inquests on behalf of bereaved families often following deaths in police or prison custody. Mark also represents interested parties at high profile inquests following controversial deaths and where substantial cross-examination of police officers is required. Mark is currently instructed along with Pete Weatherby QC on behalf of 22 families who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough Disaster
Inquest experience includes:
Mark is an opponent of the death penalty and has a strong interest in death penalty cases in the United States. He is currently
Centre for American Legal Studies
at Birmingham City University and is on the editorial panel for the
British Journal of American Legal Studies.
In 1998 he worked pro bono in a capital murder trial in Texas where he assisted the local attorneys with the preparation of the case for trial. This involved being temporarily admitted as a member of the Texas Bar. Since that time he has been involved with
, an organisation which trains young lawyers to undertake internships in the US assisting in death penalty trials and appeals. He regularly teaches at the Amicus training sessions in trial procedures in capital cases, jury selection and mitigation issues, and in 2012 he delivered a popular lecture tour on "death penalty in the US" to a number of law schools and universities across the UK
. He has also
written a number of articles for the Amicus Journal
on aspects of US death penalty law. In 2008 Mark became a trustee of the charity. Mark has been involved with writing
Amicus Curiae briefs
in three US Supreme Court cases. In 2009 he assisted in writing a brief on behalf of the BHRC outlining the UK position on life sentences for young offenders in the UK in the case of
Graham v. Florida
where the challenge was against life without parole for those aged under 18
. In 2011 he helped draft an amicus curiae brief in the case of
on death row in Florida for over 33 years in which he argued that comparison with the position in UK law showed that execution after such a length period on death row together with the failure to provide a meaningful clemency process would contravene international law standards
. In 2012 he assisted in writing a brief on behalf of the BHRC in support of the main petition and which argued the international perspective as well as citing the law in England & Wales on the sentencing of juveniles convicted of murder in the case of
Miller v Alabama
heard together with
Jackson v Hobbs
from Arkansas where the challenge was against life without parole for juvenile murderers
Mark is experienced in providing legal commentary for media broadcasters including BBC News, Radio 4 and 5 and ITV and he also regularly authors analysis and opinion articles in both the legal press and
GCN criminal law updates
. In January 2013 he took part in a panel discussion on
"Miscarriages of Justice and Jury Trials"
Kings College London Think Tank Society
photos of the debate can be seen here
). In May 2013, Mark was a vocal opponent in the campaign against the Transforming Legal Aid (PCT / QASA) proposals
Recent and notable cases
Acted for Assad Hussain, one of 9 defendants in the
Oxford sex-grooming case
at the Old Bailey (Jan to May 2013) >
R v Ahmed (Imtiaz)
 EWCA Crim 99 - appeal against IPP sentence for manslaughter - substituted with hospital order with restrictions under s. 37 and s. 44 Mental Health Act 1983
UK Criminal Law Blog commentary by Mark George QC
Crimeline commentary and link to transcript
R v H
(Manchester Crown Court - December 2012) defended man accused of causing brain injury to young child in alleged shaking case, leading
R v Royle
(Manchester Crown Court - July 2012) defended man accused of murder of old lady in Shaw.
R v Mitchell
(2012) Defendant, a professional boxer, acquitted of murder of student by punching, leading
Hanif & Khan v UK
 296 ECHR Police officer's presence on jury made trial unfair. >
news story / judgment
R v Peter Wilson
(Preston Crown Court - September 2011) Primary school teacher acquitted of sex assault charges on pupils. >
R v Power
(Manchester Crown Court - May 2011) Defended man accused of murder at a pub in Prestwich in July 2009.
R v Thompson
(Sheffield Crown Court - 2011) Represented defendant charged with rape of a woman walking her dog near Elsecar reservoir in S Yorkshire in 2010.
R v Ogumbiyi & ors
(Leeds Crown Court - February 2011) - attempted murder - following attack of Bosnian War criminal Radislav Krstic in his cell whilst serving sentence at HMP Wakefield >
read BBC news coverage
read Guardian news coverage
Morris, R (on the application of) v Criminal Cases Review Commission
 EWHC 117 (Admin) (07 February 2011) >
news story / judgment
R v Hughes
 EWCA Crim 1026 - life sentence quashed and hospital order under s. 37/41 of the Mental Health Act 1983 substituted >
R. (Mohammed Ali) v. Director of High Security
 EWHC 1732 (Admin) (Category A prisoners designated as either "high" or "exceptional" escape risk are entitled to be given sufficient reasons for the decision to maintain that status so as to enable them to decided whether to challenge that decision.) >
news story/ judgment
R v Thompson
(Stafford Crown Court - September 2009) represented soldier charged with murdering his 21 month old stepson - Prosecution accepted plea to manslaughter >
read BBC news item
R v Hughes
;  1 Cr. App. (S.) 25 EWCA Crim 841 â?? successfully argued that reference by Att. General does not extinguish defendant's right to subsequently appeal on grounds of fresh evidence.
R v Fields
(Nottingham Crown Court - 2009) conspiracy to defraud the Revenue (£1.2m).
R v Ian Price
(Birmingham Crown Court March 2009) acquitted of attempting to murder his wife by rigging up a device to start a fire during the night.
R v Little
(Chester Crown Court November 2008) partial acquittal of teacher charged with serious sexual assault on pupil who developed a crush on him.
R v Cooper
(Sheffield Crown Court October 2008) successfully defended man charged with attempted murder.
R v Noel Matthews
(Stafford C.C. July 2008) jury failed to agree in case alleging multiple sexual assaults on step-daughter. No re-trial.
R v Brereton and others
(Sheffield C.C. April 2008) Application to dismiss indictment against environmental protesters arrested in relation to campaign against widening of M1 motorway upheld by judge.
R v Bakish Khan and others
 EWCA Crim 531, The Times 07/04/08 (whether police officer who knows officers who are to give evidence can serve on juries) >
news story / judgment
R v Robinson
(Manchester Crown Court - 2008) guilty plea to offence under s.113 Anti-Terrorism, Crime & Security Act 2001 (sending noxious thing likely to cause harm or intimidate) by alleged member of the SNLA who had sent packages containing caustic soda to two people. Sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.
R v Omar Altimimi
 (offences under Terrorism Act; first trial in Manchester involving allegations of conduct linked to "Middle Eastern" terrorism) >
R v S
(Andrew)  1 W.L.R. 63;  2 Cr. App. R. 437 (introducing evidence of the bad character of the complainant).
R v Ablewhite & ors
(Nottingham Crown Court - 2006) the Staffordshire guinea pig farm case >
R v AN
(Birmingham Crown Court - 2006) - money laundering.
R v Holliday; R v Leboutillier
 1 Cr.App.R(s).349 (70) (nuisance phone calls by animal rights activists).
R v AB
 (VHCC case).
R v James Carragher
 (VHCC case, leading counsel) (buggery and indecent assault).
A-G's Ref . Nos 58/66 of 2002 (R. v. Coudjoe and others)
 EWCA Crim 636 (on the levels of sentence for street gangs involved with firearms and drug supply).
R.v. Khan (Umer) sub nom. R.v. Dad and others
 EWCA Crim 945;  Crim L.R. 684 (regarding hostile witnesses).
Mark was junior counsel in the case of
R.v. Khan (Sultan)
 A.C. 558;  2 Cr. App. R. 440 in which the Crown sought to rely on evidence obtained from a covert listening device placed in a private home. The case exposed the lack of statutory regulation of surveillance at the time and forced the government to introduce legislation to put such activities by the police and security services on a statutory footing. This was achieved first through the Police Act 1997 (Part III) and then by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Crime Silks : Northern (2015)
"Acts for clients on the full range of general crime work. He regularly acts on cases involving sexual offences and murder.
"He is very thorough and prepared to fight for the client."
" Chambers & Partners 2015
Crime Silk : Northern (2014)
‘A highly experienced defence trial advocate with expertise in serious offence cases.’ Legal 500 2014
Crime Silks : Northern (2013)
"Garden Court North houses Mark George QC,
a leading light on circuit
who is also qualified at the Bar of Northern Ireland. He has a strong track record of defending cases of historic sexual abuse. A significant recent case for him was Hanif & Khan v UK, a matter in the ECHR concerning the fairness of a trial that saw a police officer serving on the jury." Chambers & Partners 2013
Crime - Northern Circuit (2012)
"Mark George QC has a
well-established reputation for serious crime cases
." Legal 500 2012
Crime - Northern Circuit - Silks (2012)
"Mark George QC is at the same set and is
admired for being "a very clear thinker."
His recent work includes acting for the defence in R v Power, a case involving an accusation of murder in a Prestwich pub." Chambers & Partners 2012
Crime - Northern Circuit (2011)
"Mark George QC is '
thorough, hardworking and has good court room manner', and handles the most serious of criminal cases
." Legal 500 2011
Crime - Northern Circuit - Silks (2011)
" Mark George QC of Garden Court North
gives excellent advice
and is noted for the frequency with which he undertakes pro bono work. His practice is strongly geared towards complex murder and conspiracy to murder cases." Chambers & Partners 2011
Crime - Northern Circuit (2010)
"Mark George QC is a '
very thorough and safe pair of hands'
for criminal defence work" Legal 500 2010
New silks in Crime : Northern (2010)
"An 'excellent attorney' who just recently took silk, Mark George QC of Garden Court North has regularly appeared on behalf of teachers and carers accused of serious sexual assaults."
Leading Junior in Crime : Northern (2009)
"Solicitors praise Mark George for 'his mastery of a brief, knowledge of the law and rapport with the clients'.His practice is predominantly trial-based, and covers all serious criminal matters. He acted in R v Omar Altimini, the first trial in Manchester involving allegations linked to Middle Eastern terrorism." Chambers and Partners 2009
Leading Junior in Crime : Northern (2008)
"...the very talented Mark George ..." Chambers and Partners 2008
Leading Junior in Crime : Northern (2007)
"Garden Court North's Mark George enjoys a particularly privileged place in the region for 'the wealth of his experience and the regard he is held in.' He is best known for undertaking historical abuse cases and defending teachers. This year, however, he spent a good deal of his time involved in the Kingsway Hopsital Inquest into a number of deaths on the geriatric ward in the 1990s. He has also tackled a number of high-profile animal rights-related cases." Chambers & Partners 2007
Leading Junior in Crime : Northern (2006)
: "Representing Garden Court North is Mark George, acclaimed by peers for always being 'at the top of his game' and having cultivated an impressive serious crime practice." Chambers & Partners 2006.
British Journal of American Legal Studies
Also a tenant at
Garden Court Chambers
(Assisting Lawyers for Justice on Death Row).
Member of Manchester Prison Law Practitioners Group (MPLPG)
Mark determined to become a lawyer after seeing TV footage in the mid 1960s of American police officers beating civil rights demonstrators. He wanted to represent people fighting for their rights against the power of the state. Despite this he did not study law at university. Instead he read medieval history at Cambridge in the early 1970s and in his third year he decided that the chance to study Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic history was too great to resist. He spent part of that final year writing a dissertation on the Book of Durrow and the Book of Kells, two of the great illuminated Gospel books of early Ireland. Even today he retains a very keen interest in this subject.
Having qualified as a lawyer he joined a small radical set of chambers then located at the top of Farrer's Building in the Temple in London. Many of his first cases involved defending protesters arrested after a large anti-Nazi demonstration against the National Front in South London in 1977. Subsequently he has represented many protesters from political groups as well as miners, print workers, environmentalists and animal rights activists. In 1981 the chambers moved and became 2 Garden Court and has since grown to over 100 tenants. In 2006 these chambers moved to Lincoln's Inn and are now known as Garden Court Chambers. Although Mark's work is now entirely in the north of England he remains a member of the chambers at Garden Court in London.
Mark is determined to provide each client with an excellent service. He will take time to explain all the options to the client including the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the case and will be concerned to make sure that the client understands what is happening in the preparation of his/her case. He has a strong empathy with his clients and whilst providing a thoroughly professional service will also make the client feel relaxed and able to discuss his/her concerns. Mark will provide as strong and resolute a defence as possible and will endeavour to obtain the best possible outcome for every client. He is known for the thoroughness of his preparation in all cases.
Law Society / LAPG / LAG Legal Aid Still Available Leaflet
Now on Twitter
13/5/15 Abuse of process argument succeeds in prosecution under common law where statutory offence would also apply
11/5/15 Victor Nealon and Sam Hallam (miscarriage compensation) Test Case to be heard this week
Haldane "Child Sex Abuse Inquiry" Lecture panel feat. Pete Weatherby QC 21.5.15
Pete Weatherby QC speaking at Prisoners' Advice Service annual panel discussion 19.5.15
GCN Crime team speaking at Criminal Law Friendly Society conferences (Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham)
20/4/15 Matt Stanbury on Bad News for Good Character
20/3/15 Sex Offender Notification Reviews Guidance
16/3/15 Victor Nealon: permission granted in test case for compensation for miscarriage of justice
4/3/15 Joe Markus appointed to Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Counsel
26/2/15 S222 injunction to restrain begging in Leeds City Centre discharged by High Court
23/2/15 Prisoner adjudication decision quashed
16/2/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme was unlawful; EU workers
13/2/15 Rory O'Ryan appointed as Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge
5/2/15 Zimran Samuel contributes to "Now That You Know Say NO To FGM" short film
27/1/15 Permission granted in homelessness affordability appeal
26/1/15 CCMS Resources page
19/1/15 Victor Nealon - refusal of compensation for miscarriage of justice
13/1/15 Kate Stone on Human Rights and Arms Trade Treaty
5/1/15 GCN move to Blackfriars House profiled in M.E.N
15/12/14 Gudanaviciene (exceptional funding)
10/12/14 Pete Weatherby QC and Vijay Jagadesham in Landmark Supreme Court decision on ISP Prisoners
5/12/14 UT decision on Bereavement Benefits and telephone marriage
24/11/14 Natalie Wilkins "New immigration tribunal procedure rules" (Free Movement blog)
13/11/14 Permission to appeal granted in benefits case
12/11/14 Joseph Markus and Natalie Wilkins join chambers
11/11/14 Successful exceptional funding application
3/11/14 Chambers UK 2015 recommends GCN in Band 1
28/10/14 Inquest finds failures in prison mental health services
21/10/14 David Campion on JR of Employment Tribunal fees
10/10/14 Pete Weatherby QC wins Legal 500 Regional Silk Award 2014
9/10/14 Zimran Samuel wins Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year 2014
" in Legal 500 2014
26/9/14 Legal Aid, Labour and a 'manifesto for hope'
21 May 2015 >>
Haldane Human Rights Lecture "Child Sex Abuse Inquiry: a road to justice?"
19 May 2015 >>
Prisoners' Advice Service fifth annual panel discussion
Criminal Law Friendly Society Crime Conferences Spring 2015
Garden Court North Chambers 3rd Floor, Blackfriars House, Parsonage, Manchester, M3 2JA