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The Death Penalty Project pays tribute to James Guthrie KC

  • News
  • 6 Jan 2023

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of James Guthrie KC, one of the UK’s leading barristers and trustee at The Death Penalty Project.

Called to the Bar in 1975, he was former head of chambers at 3 Hare Court, Recorder of the Crown Court and Master of the Bench at Inner Temple.

James was very well known throughout the Caribbean and the Commonwealth. He developed a wide-ranging practice with a specific expertise before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, dealing with criminal, civil and constitutional matters across the Caribbean. He was highly regarded in his field of work and regularly appeared before local courts of appeal.

James was highly respected by governments of the Commonwealth who would often instruct him or  seek his advice on legal issues. James was a founding trustee at The Death Penalty Project and devoted a large part of his later practice to support our work. He frequently came to the aid of those facing execution and represented many prisoners on a pro bono basis.

James bought his extensive legal knowledge, his reputation and experience before the highest courts in the land, to help our cause in representing indigent defendants seeking to appeal potential miscarriages of justice, or those who simply needed representation. He always believed that whatever the offence, everyone should be represented. He was a fearless advocate respected by judges throughout the Commonwealth.

Parvais Jabbar and Saul Lehrfreund, Co-Executive Directors of The Death Penalty Project said:

A great example to all advocates embodying the values and traditions of the bar. No matter when, James would always be ready to assist and help if he was able to do so. We are extremely grateful for his commitment and contribution to our work in representing prisoners facing execution and towards global abolition of the death penalty. He will be dearly missed.

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