Mike Edwards LLB (Hons), MPhil, Barrister-at-Law, FHEA.
Mike Edwards started his career as a Crown Prosecutor, eventually being promoted to the position of Head of the Trials Unit within the Crown Prosecution Service, managing a team of lawyers and caseworkers dealing with the most serious and sensitive casework in his area. During this time he dealt with homicide cases, including murder, manslaughter and fatal road traffic accidents. He also dealt with complex fraud and serious sexual offence cases. He sat on a number of committees, including the Mentally Disordered Offenders Committee, the Police/CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Committee and the Health and Safety Executive Joint Prosecutions Working Group.
After he left the Crown Prosecution Service he went into private practice at the Bar in South Wales, specialising in criminal prosecution and defence work. During his time in private practice he dealt with serious and sensitive cases, including acting as one of the junior prosecuting counsel in the David Morris murder trial (the Clydach murders), one of the largest and most complex criminal trials to be held in Wales. (See below for details).
Mike left private practice in 2006 and joined Cardiff University to teach criminal evidence and procedure on the Bar Vocational Course (BVC). Since being at the University he has successfully completed module I of the Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (PCUTL).
Until September 2015 he taught on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and the undergraduate Evidence Course. He was course leader for the Criminal Litigation Evidence and Sentencing Course and the Trial Advocacy Course on the BPTC.
He co-wrote the first national Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing syllabus for the Bar Standards Board.
In 2009 he was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court, a position he held until 2014. During the five years that he was a Recorder Mike sat as a judge in jury trials, sentencing hearings and other Crown Court proceedings.
Mike’s research interests relate primarily to criminal evidence and procedure, particularly the structure and effectiveness of adversarial criminal trials and their historical development.
He has worked with South Wales Police, assisting with its training of police officers to give evidence in court.
Between September 2015 and January 2017 Mike was the module leader for the LLB Evidence programme and continues to teach on that course and the BPTC.
Other background information
- External examiner for City Law School for the Fraud and Financial Crime and Criminal Advocacy Courses - 2011 - 2014.
- Accredited by the Advocacy Training Council to teach civil and criminal advocacy.
- Registered pupil supervisor with Lincoln's Inn.
- Part of the team that conducted the Quality Assurance for Advocates (QAA) pilot for the Legal Services Commission and responsible for the preparation of materials used in the assessment exercises for the study.
- Master of Philosophy in Law: the research concentrated on adversarial trial procedures and their effect on truth finding.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
- Assessor on the expert witness scheme.
- Supervisor on the LLM in Legal Practice Course.
- On the introduction of the Proceeds of Crime Act provided training to the judiciary on the operation of the provisions, especially in relation to investigative orders.
Selected significant cases
During his time in the CPS and private practice Mike dealt with a large number of serious and sensitive cases including the following:
Between 2005 and 2006 - R v. David Morris (the Clydach murders). This was a high profile murder case involving the murder of three generations of the same family. Mike was one of the junior prosecution counsel and was responsible for preparing complex legal submissions on evidence, particularly relating to hearsay, bad character and abuse of process. The trial lasted for 5 months and involved significant witness management issues and close liaison with experts.
2004 - R v. Oyombo and others. This was a complex conspiracy to defraud case involving difficult issues of evidence. Mike was one of the defence counsel in this case.
2004 - R v. Doubtfire. This was a high profile manslaughter case involving the death of a 16 year old army cadet. The case concerned complex issues of law and evidence. Mike initially advised the police about the evidence when the case was first referred to the CPS and subsequently acted as junior prosecuting counsel during the trial.
2001 - R v. Raphael Gray – a cross-jurisdictional case involving the hacking into American company websites. The investigation was led by the FBI and involved working with a number of different agencies in the UK and USA.
2000 - R v. Bissell – a murder case involving complex issues of provocation and domestic violence.
1993 – R v. Stephen Miller – High profile murder case.
LLB Evidence module
LLM (Legal Practice) supervision
BPTC - Criminal Litigation Evidence and Sentencing, Trial Advocacy, Conference skills, Criminal Practice