Paul Mason

Year of Call

Paul Mason

Paul specialises in a number of Chambers' practice areas, in particular criminal defence, extradition and related public law matters.  He also has considerable experience in media law and defamation, having previously taught in the School of Journalism at Cardiff University.


He has a strong criminal practice.  He was instructed in a double attempted murder, representing one of four defendants led by David Hislop QC.  He was also junior to Emma Goodall representing an eighty-six year old defendant alleged to have sexually abused four of his biological children in the early 1970s.  Further, he was led by Jeannie Mackie representing three defendants charged with fraud and money laundering offences amounting to more than £1.5 million.


Paul works with the Death Penalty Project, where he assists local lawyers in appellate work. He is also a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee.  He has undertaken trial observations, including the Aya Hegazy trial in Cairo.  Ms Hegazy, was one of eight charity workers acquitted of sexual offences but detained for over two years, awaiting trial.


Before coming to the Bar, Paul was a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University where he published extensively in law, criminology and politics.  He has worked with the United Nations on the broadcasting of the ICTY war crimes trials; Channel Four on media representations of Islam for Dispatches; and consulted on media broadcast of legal proceedings in the UK and the Netherlands. 


Paul was also a Research Assistant in the Public Law Team at the Law Commission.  He has worked for the Free Representation Unit, appearing in unfair dismissal and discrimination cases and appeared in the First Tier Tribunal (IAC), working pro bono for Asylum Justice.  He worked on appeals to the Criminal Cases Review Commission as Director of the Cardiff Nexus Innocence Project.  He has also been an Appropriate Adult for a mental health charity.



  • R v Gogo-Abite [2016] Junior to Jeannie Mackie.  Defendant charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offences in frauds over £1.5m. Acquitted.
  • R v Osborne [2014] Defendant charged with three counts of fraud and two counts of converting criminal property.  After legal argument, the complainant’s entire witness statement was ruled inadmissible under s.78 of PACE, leading to the Crown offering no evidence.
  • R v Arbuckle [2014] Defendant charged, with one other of significant benefit fraud over 5 years.  After 6 day trial, Defendant acquitted on all counts.
  • R v Green [2013] £4000 benefit fraud. Acquitted.

Money Laundering

  • R v LG and FG [2017] Represented first defendant charged with possession of criminal property.  Successful application of no case to answer.  Both defendants acquitted.
  • R v Jenkins [2015] Represented second defendant charged with laundering money connected to the supply of drugs. Acquitted on both money laundering and supply of drugs counts.

Sexual Offences

  • R v X [2017] Defendant charged with sexual assault of work colleague. Acquitted.
  • R v B [2016] Led by Emma Goodall representing an eighty-six year old defendant alleged to have sexually abused four of his biological children in the 1970s.
  • R v S [2015] Defendant charged with 7 counts of sexual assault against 4 complainants. Defendant acquitted on all counts.
  • R v F [2015] Defendant charged with indecent exposure on public transport. Acquitted.

Violent Offences

  • R v Clarke and another [2017]  Defendant charged with three counts of possessing firearms. Defence of duress of circumstance successful. Acquitted on all three counts.
  • R v D and another [2016] Defendant charged with another of s.18 GBH.  Successful application of no case to answer.
  • R v Payne [2015] Defendant charged with assaulting a police officer. Successful application of no case to answer based on the unlawful entry by police into defendant’s flat under s.17(1)(b) of PACE.
  • R v Hajila and others [2015] Led by David Hislop QC in six week double attempted murder.
  • R v White [2015] Defendant charged with robbery from a betting shop. Acquitted.
  • R v Jelonek [2015] Defendant charged with witness intimidation of complainant in ABH and assault case. Acquitted.
  • R v Chan [2015] Defendant charged with affray.  Crown offered no evidence after officer’s identification evidence was successfully excluded under s.78 of PACE as a breach of Code D of PACE.
  • R v Rana [2015] Defendant charged with ABH after pub fight. Acquitted.
  • R v Monteiro and Balde [2015] Defendant charged with another of ABH. Acquitted.
  • R v Armstrong [2015] Defendant charged with criminal damage.  Successful application of no case to answer, following legal argument on lawful excuse under s.5 Criminal Damage Act 1971.
  • R v Hartnup and others [2013] 3-handed common assault and s.4 public order arising from a nightclub fight. Acquitted.
  • R v J [2013] J, a 25 year-old with significant mental health issues, was charged with assaulting three police officers.  Acquitted.
  • R v B [2013] Defendant with mental health issues charged with assaulting two police officers. Acquitted.

Drug Offences

  • R v A [2017] Acquittal of defendant charged with possession with intent to supply heroin. The evidence against the defendant included £3000 worth of drugs in her car, photos of cash on her phone and web searches including “how to be a successful drug dealer”.

​​Motoring Offences

  • R v James [2014] Secured suspended sentence after lengthy mitigation on serious dangerous driving offences.
  • R v Alder [2014] Successful appeal on exceptional hardship grounds for coach driver not to be disqualified on reaching 12 penalty points.


Paul appears regularly for requested persons at first instance and on appeal before the High Court. 

Recent and current cases include:

  • Estonia v KP – Challenging extradition to Tallinn prison as a breach of the request person’s Article 3 rights.
  • AA v Hungary – Divisional Court appeal on a single mother’s Article 8 rights, where her three children face being taken into care.
  • Poland v TL – Successful compromise of warrant following 14 year delay in issuing warrant.
  • CG, EG and MP v Germany – Divisional Court appeal on the deficiency of a warrant on six counts of fraud.

Protest Cases

Paul has a particular interest in the right to protest and political activism. Cases include:

  • R v H [2017] Currently instructed to represent a journalist arrested while covering an anti-deportation protest on the runway at Stansted airport.
  • R v M and others [2016] Protestor charged with violent disorder during anti-gentrification event in Camden. Acquitted.
  • R v Longbottom and Simpson [2016] Nine day trial concerning Cardiff Uncut protestor charged with ABH of officer and violent disorder during protest at HSBC bank. The Judge found there was no case to answer on the ABH charge.  A jury then unanimously acquitted both defendants of violent disorder. See media coverage here and here.  
  • R v Maloney [2015] Defendant one of the “Gandhi 3” charged with obstructing police and offences under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 at Parliament Square in May 2014. Acquitted. To read more please see here.

International Crime

Paul works with the Death Penalty Project, offering assistance to local lawyers representing those facing the death penalty.  He is currently advising lawyers in Malaysia on drug trafficking cases.  Paul is also a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee.  In 2017,  he observed the trial of Aya Hegazy, one of eight charity workers charged with sexual offences, who were detained from May 2014 until their acquittal in April 2017.

Media Law

Paul works with the international media defence team on freedom of expression issues. Most recently, he was part to legal team on the appeal to the UN’s special procedures of the Human Rights Council to raise concerns about detained journalist, Ramon Ebale.

Before coming to the Bar, Paul taught Media Law in the Cardiff School of Journalism at Cardiff University at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. He has published widely on the use of electronic broadcasting in courtrooms and was consulted by the, then Lord Chancellor’s Department on proposals for cameras in UK courts. 



‘Prisoners, Human Rights and the Media’ in Tumber, H and Waisbord, S. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights, London: Routledge.

Two chapters for The Drugs Offences Handbook (Criminal Practice Series), Bloomsbury Press.

‘Broadcasting Court Proceedings’, presentation at Screening the Criminal Trial Symposium January 21st 2016, Bristol.

That’s Entertainment? The Anonymity of Arrestees and the Law, December 2015


  • Mason, P. (2006) (Ed.) Captured by the Media: Prison Discourse in Media Culture, Cullompton: Willan Publishing.
  • Mason, P. (2003) (Ed.) Criminal Visions: Media Representation of Crime and Justice Cullompton: Willan Publishing
  • Leishman, F. and Mason, P. (2003) Policing and the Media: Facts, Fiction and Faction, Cullompton: Willan Publishing

Selected Journals and Book Chapters

  • Lewis, J., Mason, P. and Moore, K. (2011) ‘Images of Islam in the UK: The representation of British Muslims in the national press 2000-2008’ in Petley, J. and Richardson, R. (eds.) Pointing the Finger: Islam and Muslims in the British Media. Oxford: Oneworld, pp. 40-65.
  • Lewis, J., Mason, P. and Moore, K. (2009) ‘Islamic terrorism and the repression of the political’ in Marsden, L. and Savigny, H. (eds.) Media, Religion and Conflict: Religion and International Security Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 17-38.
  • Mason, P. (2009) ‘Crime, Media and the State’ in J. Sim, D. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.) State, Power, Crime: Critical Readings in Criminology, London: Sage, pp. 343-70.
  • Mason, P. (2009) ‘Press and Release: News Coverage of the Criminal Cases Review Commission in M. Naughton (ed.) The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Helping The Innocent? Hants: Palgrave.
  • Mason, P (2009) ‘Counterblast: Harmful Sentences’, Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 48 (3), pp. 297–299.
  • Mason, P. and Monckton-Smith, J. (2008) ‘Conflation, Collocation and Confusion: British Press Coverage of the Sexual Murder of Women’, Journalism, pp. 691-710.
  • Mason P (2007) ‘Misinformation, Myth and Distortion: How the Press Support Mass Incarceration’, Journalism Studies, vol. 8 (3), pp. 481-96.
  • Mason, P. (2006) ‘Lies, Distortion and What Doesn’t Work: Monitoring Prison Stories in the British Media’, Crime, Media, Culture, vol. 3(2), pp.251-67.
  • P. (2005) Book Review: ‘Images of Incarceration: Representations of Prison in Film and Television by David Wilson and Sean O’Sullivan’, Crime, Media, Culture 1 (1), pp. 117-119. Other Research Output / Impact. 
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