COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: A Last Ditch Defence for the Assassins of Jean Charles de Menezes
Sir Michael Wright was Oxford educated, and after tutelage from Lord Griffiths and a distinguished career, became Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales in 1983. Promoted to the Queen’s Bench division of the High Court of Justice in 1990, he retired from the position in 2003, but still remains active in the courts.
Although sitting on many cases, one of his most notable involvements was in the British Tobacco Company Litigation case of 1999, starring Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher, versus 53 cancer-afflicted smokers. The collapse of that case came about by the judgement of Justice Wright, firstly on his ruling that 8 of the plaintiffs had left it too late to put in their claim, and then his view that even cases filed on time were unlikely to succeed, saying:
“Taking a broad view, it seems to be plainly legitimate to say that the prospects of success in this litigation on behalf of any plaintiff are by no means self evident.”
A few months later, in February 2000, one of the solicitors who took part in the unsuccessful litigation, Martyn Day, of Leigh, Day and Co. spoke to the House of Commons Health Select Committee about the case, whilst giving evidence.
“Judges in this country”, he said, “are keen to protect the industry's interests, while successive governments have colluded with tobacco firms and have failed to curb their unethical practices.”
Thus, knowing that Sir Michael is such a proven “team player”, the world should have been little surprised at his new ruling on 2nd December 2008 in the brutal police slaying of Jean Charles de Menezes, that : “…having heard all the evidence, a verdict of unlawful killing is not justified."