Mark George QC was bestowed with the title of Visiting Practitioner when he attended the official Launch of the Centre for American Legal Studies, Birmingham City University, held at the Birmingham offices of Squire Sanders on 30 March 2012. Mark is now formally associated with CALS and will be invited to speak at BCU from time to time on issues of US law including his specialist area of US death penalty law. He has also joined the editorial panel of the British Journal of American Legal Studies.
Mark is an opponent of the death penalty and has a strong interest and expertise in death penalty cases in the United States. In 1998 he worked pro bono in a capital murder trial in Texas where he assisted the local attorneys with the preparation of the case for trial. This involved being temporarily admitted as a member of the Texas Bar. Since that time he has been involved with Amicus, an organisation which trains young lawyers to undertake internships in the US assisting in death penalty trials and appeals. Mark has been involved with writing Amicus Curiae briefs in two Supreme Court cases. In 2009 he assisted in writing a brief on behalf of the BHRC outlining the UK position on life sentences for young offenders in the UK in the case of Graham v. Florida where the challenge was against life without parole for those aged under 18. In 2011 he helped draft an amicus curiae brief in the case of Manuel Valle on death row in Florida for over 33 years in which he argued that comparison with the position in UK law showed that execution after such a length period on death row together with the failure to provide a meaningful clemency process would contravene international law standards.
He regularly teaches at the Amicus training sessions in trial procedures in capital cases, jury selection and mitigation issues. He has also written a number of articles for the Amicus Journal on aspects of US death penalty law. In 2008 Mark became a trustee of the charity.