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Phil Shiner Stripped of Honorary Doctorate

The University of Kent have stripped a human rights lawyer of an honorary doctorate, after being struck off for bringing abuse claims against UK troops in Iraq.

Twelve charges of misconduct were brought against Phil Shiner by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal back in February. The 60 year old was struck off for receiving more than £1.6million in taxpayers money; and for wrongly accusing hundreds of British soldiers in Iraq of murder, torture, and mistreatment; and for bringing false allegations to court.

The tribunal found that he acted dishonestly, recklessly, and without integrity.

After investigating Mr.Shiner in February, following the tribunal, the University announced that his honorary doctorate would be revoked. The University have refused to comment on this matter.

This week, following Mr. Shiner’s doctorate removal, the Solicitors Regulation Authority will appeal a verdict which cleared a second law firm, Leigh Day, of wrongdoing.

Mr. Shiner was the head of strategic litigation at Public Interest Lawyers from 2014 until the firm’s closure in 2016. He had previously been principal at Public Interest Lawyers Ltd from 1999 to 2014. He has most recently been a professor in practice law at Middlesex University.

Former Canterbury and Whitstable MP, Sir Julian Brazier, has labeled Mr Shiner a ‘disgrace’ and has called for Mr Shiner to be arrested for his actions:

“This man should be prosecuted for treason. He has behaved disgracefully and should be in prison. He has attempted the prosecution of British soldiers who have records for gallantry and some who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. His firms were effectively dispensing public money in order to bring false court cases against the British military.”

Mr. Shiner now faces an estimated fine of £4million for bringing the trumped up claims under legal aid. The government has also said that they will pursue Mr. Shiner for the money that his defunct firm was paid in the past. Mr Shiner is, however, bankrupt.

Mr. Shiner was previously named Human Rights Lawyer of the Year in 2004 for “outstanding skill and tenacity in taking test cases to protect the rights of Iraqi civilians tortured and killed by British forces”, as well as being named Solicitor of the Year by the Law Society in 2007.

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