The Tyrannicide Brief is really two books in one, though they are held together by the polemical purpose of their author, the human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson. The first is an account of the career of the Solicitor-General at the trial of King Charles I in 1649, John Cooke (or Cook). The second is about the virtue and necessity of bringing tyrants and war criminals to justice.
Cooke is a surprisingly little-known figure, well deserving of the attention that Robertson enterprisingly gives him. Accounts of the King's trial dismiss Cooke as a nondescript hack lawyer. His zeal as Chief Justice in Ireland after its conquest by Cromwell, for whose social policies he was a leading spokesman, is