Noël Sweeney | Barrister

Year of call: 1992

Noel Sweeney has been a practising barrister for over 20 years. He is widely acknowledged as a leading barrister in his specialist areas of practice; animal law, criminal law and human rights.

Noel has a long-standing involvement in researching and writing and lecturing on all aspects of animal welfare and animal rights and regularly appears on radio and television to discuss the subject with other participants including Peter Singer, the best known philosopher on animal liberation in the world.

He has covered many unusual areas of animal law which allows him an insight into the legal aspects that are considered by the Courts on a daily basis involving the life and death of animals.

The areas he has researched and lectured and written on include: dangerous dogs and dangerous people; the problem of identification of animals in a criminal trial; the forensic analysis of animals in relation to a crime committed on them or by their owners or other miscreants; the connexion between racism and sexism and speciesism. Recently he wrote a cogent article in the Criminal Law and Justice Weekly [2013] on our need in England for a Register of Animal Abusers similar to the Sex Offenders Register.

Noel has also written a study of the major criminal legislation affecting animals and had articles commissioned by the BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Noel is regularly invited to speak at events and most recently delivered two talks on 30th September: the importance of Animal Forensic Evidence in solving crime, and the need for an Animals “Ombudswoman”. Noel has over 25 years’ experience at the Bar, his work primarily focusing on criminal law, animal rights law and human rights law.

Noel was also guest speaker at the Annual Conference of the Police Wildlife Liaison Officers where his chosen subject was Violence and Speciesism. Similarly he was a guest Lecturer at Bath Spa University and the University of the West of England on The Cycle of Cruelty: The Connection between Animal and Child Abuse. An example of my writing on this subject can be seen at: A Bird’s Eye-View of Cats and Dogs and Murder: www.criminallawandjustice.co.uk [2010] Vol. 174 p.393.

He is due to deliver an important Lecture on 28 November 2015 at the Symposium on the Hunting Act 2004 at the University of Winchester.

He has appeared on television and local and national radio in relation to animal law and welfare.

He has written an existentialist animal rights novel for children, Duggie is a bad bad Dog. It will be published in November 2015. The book will have appeal for parents too as it involves a ‘rescued’ dog who is sentenced to death in the Crown Court which might be a miscarriage of justice. The story teaches children about kindness to animals and the value of truth and justice.

He has also lectured and researched and written on miscarriages of justice where proved to have been innocent have been convicted.

He is not merely an advocate, but a craftsman who builds a case with an analytical approach matched by a persuasive presentation.

Author of the following:

Dogs of Law Book

Dogs of Law book

Animals in Law

Animals-in-Law Book