Taylor’s New Defense Team Includes Prominent QC

Charles Taylor’s newly appointed defense team includes Courtenay Griffiths, QC, as well as [pdf] Andrew Cayley and Terry Munyard.  The appointment follows Taylor’s request for QC-level representation.  Vincent O. Nmehielle, Principal Defender for the Court, stated after consultations with Taylor that “[Taylor] pointed out to us that his team requires a leading senior counsel at the rank of QC to properly lead the case because of its complexity and the magnitude of the case.”  Taylor also requested a senior counsel and two co-counsel, all to ensure his fair trial rights under Article 17 of the Special Court’s statute.

Presiding Judge Sebutinde stated in Court on June 25, 2007, that she did not understand “this fixation with Queen’s Counsel” because “we have had very able counsel, senior counsel, from other jurisdictions, who are just as capable and who are willing to work for the remuneration that the Special Court can afford.”  Nonetheless, Taylor’s new defense team includes a QC with significant criminal law experience. 

According to Griffith’s biography, “His criminal practice ranges from fraud to terrorism, murder and serious public order to drugs.”  Griffiths received his LL.B. from the London School of Economics, an Honoray LL.D.  from Leeds Metropolitan University, and an Honoray LL.D. from Conventry University.  He has served as Legal Assistant to the Greater London Council Police Committee Support Unit (1981-1984) and as a Revson Fellow in the Urban Legal Studies program at City College in New York (1984-1985).  He offers the unique perspective of a Jamaican-born attorney trained in England, whose “experience has taught him the social importance of practice in the provinces, where the sight of a black man in a white wig and black gown then often generated looks and sentiments of amazement.” 

Andrew Cayley received his LL.B. from Brighton College and his LLM. from University College London.  He has served as Senior Prosecuting Counsel to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, where he provided legal direction on the ICC investigation into the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan.  Cayley has also served as Senior Prosecuting Counsel to the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugsolavia, supervising the investigation against General Mladic, and Legal Officer to the British Army.

 Terry Munyard received his LL.B. from Kings College.  Munyard practices civil and criminal law, specifically working on public order and political activist cases.  He began working in employment and discrimination law while he was an active trade unionist. 

Taylor’s new defense team possesses relevant and extensive expertise in criminal law issues.  It remains to be seen whether the defense team will ask for additional time or if the trial will proceed as planned on August 20.