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MICHAEL CHAMBERS

Year of Call: 2005

Main Areas of Practice

Criminal Law
Extradition
Human Rights

Biography

Michael Chambers was called to the Bar of Northern in 2005.

He has a developed a specialism in criminal law, appearing for both the prosecution and defence. He is regularly instructed in high-profile and complex criminal cases with a particular specialism in murder, terrorism, serious sexual offending and complex fraud.
Michael is often instructed to advise prosecutorial authorities, companies, government bodies, local councils and individuals on criminal matters prior to charge.

Michael also regularly appears in inquests, instructed as counsel to the Coroner or for the next of kin. He has a particular specialism in inquests involving the State, Article 2 issues and deaths in custody.

He is a member of the PPS Panel of Counsel, the NI Coroner’s Panel of Counsel and the Advocate General’s Special Advocate Panel for Northern Ireland.

Qualifications

LL.B, Queen’s University, Belfast

Certificate in Professional Legal Studies (with distinction), Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast

Member of Bar Council 2008-2010

Experience

NOTABLE CASES:

Murder

R v Ferguson, Roger and another [2010] NICA 9; [2010] NIJB 341 Appeal against conviction for murder. Successfully opposed. (Prosecution)

R v Crymble, Jacqueline & others [2007] NICC 54; Major murder trial involving five defendants. Two defendants convicted of murder (Prosecution)

R v Lyness, David [2018] NICC 14 Prosecution for murder of defendant’s partner. Defendant convicted of murder after trial. (Prosecution)

R v Massey, Michael & another [2008] NICC 2 Prosecution for attempted murder in the circumstances of a terrorist feud. Case involved extensive abuse of process litigation surrounding covert surveillance of Defendants’ legally professionally privileged consultations. Prosecution accepted a plea to conspiracy to commit s.20 assault. (Defence)

R v Dalzell, Richard [2018] NICC 4 Defendant convicted of murder. Complex issues regarding causation.

R v Foster, Alan Norman [2016] NICC 23 Prosecution for murder of defendant’s step-mother. Defendant convicted of murder. Defendant suffering from psychiatric issues arising from military service. Issues regarding whether the defendant’s mental condition at the time of the murder amounted to diminished responsibility (Prosecution)

R v McKinney, Gareth & another [2014] NICC 15- Prosecution for murder. Pleas accepted to manslaughter. (Prosecution)

R v Keenan, Christopher [2018] NICC 6 Defendant convicted of murder. Case involved complex examination of whether the defendant could avail of the defence of diminished responsibility.

R v Charles Buckingham (unreported 2017) Defendant charged with withholding information arising out of a double murder. Successfully argued that the evidence was insufficient to justify putting the accused on trial resulting in the Judge dismissing the case against the defendant. (Defence)

Terrorism

R v Massey, Michael & another [2008] NICC 2 Prosecution for attempted murder in the circumstances of a terrorist feud. Case involved extensive abuse of process litigation surrounding covert surveillance of Defendants’ legally professionally privileged consultations. Prosecution accepted a plea to conspiracy to commit s.20 assault. (Defence)

R v Murney, Stephen [2014] NICC 4 Prosecution for possession of materials likely to be of use to terrorists. (Prosecution)

R v Francis, Sean and others [2015] NICA 60 Failure of disclosure process rendering historical convictions unsafe (Prosecution)

R v Seamus Daly (2016) (Unreported) Prosecution for 29 counts of murder arising from the Omagh Bomb in 1998. (Prosecution)

Sexual Offending

R v EB [2010] NICA 40; [2011] NIJB 373 The guideline authority in Northern Ireland for the approach the Court should adopt in determining whether an offender is “dangerous” under the Criminal Justice (NI) Order 2008. (Prosecution)

R v James Hutchinson [2014] NICA 75 Prosecution for serious sexual offences. The accused was convicted and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment. This judgment is the guideline authority on how juries should be directed on the cross-admissibility of allegations from multiple complainants. (Prosecution)

R v JW (2018) (Unreported) Successful appeal against a sentence of 8 months imprisonment for possession of indecent images. Reduced to Combination Order- Probation and Community Service . (Defence)

Fraud

R v McDonnell, James Francis & another [2013] NICC 16 Multi-million pound cigarette smuggling trial. After three trials both Defendants convicted of all counts. (Prosecution)

R v O’Kane, Kevin; in re sentencing remarks [2012] NICC 7 Multi-million pound international property fraud lasting over three months. The Defendant was convicted on all counts. (Prosecution)

R v Kevin Kinney (2017) (Unreported) Defendant charged with perverting the course of justice arising from a double fatality. (Defence)

Inquests

In the matter of an inquest into the death of Caragh Walsh [2017] NICoroner 5 The deceased in this inquest was a three month old baby. Her father was tried and acquitted of her murder. An inquest took place to determine the cause of her death which the Coroner concluded was as a result of violent shaking which led to cardio-respiratory arrest, cerebral oedema, subdural and retinal haemorrhage and hypoxic ischaemic necrosis. (Counsel to the Coroner)