Lord Carlile of Berriew C.B.E., Q.C.


Alex Carlile was born in Wales in 1948. After education at Epsom College he graduated LLB AKC at King’s College London. He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1970. He became a Q.C. in 1984, at the age of 36. He is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn. He sits as a Recorder of the Crown Court, as a Deputy High Court Judge, and as a Chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. He was till 2009 the Honorary Recorder of the City of Hereford. He was the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation 2001-2011; and the Independent Reviewer of the Government’s new PREVENT policy. He remains the independent reviewer of National Security policy in Northern Ireland.

He is the President of The Security Institute. He is a Fellow of King’s College London, and a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust. He holds Honorary Doctorates of Laws in universities in Manchester, Wales and Hungary.

From 1983-1997 he was the Liberal then Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire in Mid Wales. During that time he served spokesperson on a range of issues, including Home Affairs and the Law. He was Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats from 1992-7.

He was a leading proponent in the House of Commons of the War Crimes Act, and a founding officer of the All-Party War Crimes Group. He served on several Select Committees and Standing Committees of the House of Commons. He is a long standing opponent of onshore windfarm development, on landscape grounds.

He was appointed a Life Peer in 1999. He was awarded the CBE in 2012 for services to national security.

Alex Carlile until 2007 was Head of Chambers (Chairman) of one of the largest sets of barristers’ chambers in London, 9-12 Bell Yard. He specialises in the civil and criminal aspects of commercial fraud, the law of public policy, and the law on security matters. He advises foreign governments, and senior figures. Much of his work as a QC is in matters of the highest confidentiality.

His best known criminal case was the defence of Paul Burrell, butler to the late Diana Princess of Wales. He appeared with success in the Morecambe Bay cocklers’ case, for a Liverpool fish merchant.

He is involved in numerous charities, including the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College, and The White Ensign Association. He has a particular interest in mental health issues, and was a co-founder of the Welsh charity Rekindle

He chaired the Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament on mental health legislation. He is the Chairman of the Lloyd’s of London Enforcement Board.

He has written several reports, most on terrorism.

He was the author of “Too Serious a Thing”, a report published in 2002 on the safety of children in the NHS. His major report for the Howard League on the use of restraints on children in custody was published in February 2006. His report on child safeguarding and the notorious Edlington case, for the Secretary of State for Education, will be published in early November 2012.

He is a non-executive director of a listed major agricultural merchanting company, Wynnstay Group plc.

He has 3 daughters and two step-daughters, and several grandchildren, and lives in London with his wife, barrister Alison Levitt Q.C. She is the Principal Legal Advisor to the Crown Prosecution Service of England and Wales and a leading Criminal Law expert.

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