Paul’s interdisciplinary practice spans a number of Chambers' practice areas. In particular, serious crime, media law, international crime and public law. This includes judicial review challenges in a criminal justice context; acting for media organisations and journalists in cases concerning free speech and defending those exercising their right to protest.
Before being called to the Bar, Paul was Director of Postgraduate Research and Senior Lecturer in the Cardiff School of Journalism. He was also a researcher in the Public Law Team at the Law Commission. Previously, he was a Reader in Criminology and published in terrorism, crime and the State. He has worked with the UN on the televising of court proceedings at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Paul is instructed regularly to defend those charged with the most serious and often complex criminal offences. This includes R v S and ors led junior in four handed murder (Oxford CC), R v C and others (Central Criminal Court), sole junior representing one of eleven defendants in a ten-week trial at Central Criminal Court on an alleged gang-related conspiracy to commit s.18 GBH and violent disorder; R v N and ors, leading junior on an 11-defendant tobacco importation case (Newcastle CC).
R v M and others, Snaresbrook Crown Court (ongoing). Leading counsel on multiple firearms and drugs offences arising from Encrochat evidence.
R v J, Oxford Crown Court (ongoing). Rape of a child under 13.
R v T, Southampton Crown Court (ongoing). Rape.
R v D and another, Manchester Crown Court (ongoing). £1.1m Chinese currency exchange money laundering.
R v R and others, Birmingham Crown Court (ongoing). 7 handed NCA Class A drug importation.
R v M and others, Canterbury Crown Court (ongoing). 8 handed fraud conspiracy and money laundering.
R v T and another, Central Criminal Court (ongoing). 2 handed murder. Junior.
R v L, Salisbury Crown Court (ongoing). Rape of a child under 13.
R v M and others, Reading Crown Court (ongoing). 14 handed cannabis production.
R v R and ors, Snaresbrook Crown Court (ongoing). 4 handed kidnap involving s.28 cross-examination.
R v G and others, Hull Crown Court (ongoing). Possession of firearms with intent.
R v T and others, Snaresbrook Crown Court (ongoing). Conspiracy to supply cocaine (£ ½ m).
R v K, Snaresbrook Crown Court (ongoing). 3 x possession of a firearm during robberies.
R v M, Oxford Crown Court. Armed robbery. Crown offered no evidence after successful legal argument concerning hearsay evidence.
R v M, Warwick Crown Court. Child murder, 3 x attempt murder and arson. Junior. Acquitted all counts
R v B and others, Oxford Crown Court. 3 handed murder. Junior. December 2020. Acquitted all counts.
Before being called to the Bar, Paul specialised in Media Law in the Cardiff School of Journalism. 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.
Paul advises on pre-publication matters, in particular those which intersect with criminal law and proceedings. This has included work for The Sun, Blink Media and Dignity in Dying. He works with the international media defence team on freedom of expression issues. He was part of the legal team on the appeal to the UN’s special procedures of the Human Rights Council to raise concerns about detained journalist, Ramon Ebale.
Paul is working with Legal Policy Research Unit, Kazakhstan on increasing the use of jury trials in the country’s criminal justice system. In October 2018, he was invited to speak to the Kazakhstan Supreme Court on public participation in the criminal justice system.
Paul works with the Death Penalty Project, offering assistance to local lawyers representing those facing the death penalty. He has advised lawyers in Malaysia on issues of disclosure in 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.
Paul has a particular interest in the right to protest and political activism. His cases include:
R v H, representing a journalist arrested while covering an anti-deportation protest on the runway at Stansted airport;
R v M and others concerning protestors charged with violent disorder during an anti-gentrification event in Camden;
Paul also acted in R v M and others, defending one of the “Gandhi 3” charged with obstructing police and offences under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 at Parliament Square.
Bunting, D., Douglas-Jones B., Mason, P & Newton.B (eds) Human Rights in Criminal Law (forthcoming 2022), London: Bloomsbury Press.
The Drugs Offences Handbook (2018), London: Bloomsbury Press (co-authored).
Captured by the Media: Prison Discourse in Media Culture (2006), Cullompton: Willan Publishing.
Criminal Visions: Media Representation of Crime and Justice (2003) Cullompton: Willan Publishing.
Policing and the Media: Facts, Fiction and Faction (2003), Cullompton: Willan Publishing. (Co-authored).
Selected Book Chapters and Journal Articles
‘Prisoners, Human Rights and the Media’ in Tumber, H and Waisbord, S. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights (2017), London: Routledge.
‘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.
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: Hope For 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.