Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
May was born in London and, following national service with the Durham Light Infantry, studied law at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He was called to the bar in 1965, and he worked as a criminal prosecutor and court recorder before being chosen as Crown Court judge in 1987.
He was also an active member of the Labour Party in Westminster from the mid-1960s, fighting unsuccessfully for a seat on Westminster City Council in 1968. He was a Parliamentary candidate in Dorset South in the 1970 election.
In 1971 May was elected to Westminster City Council, where he led the Labour Group from 1974 to 1977. He stood down from the council in 1978 to concentrate on his legal career but was still able to stand in the 1979 contest in Margaret Thatcher's Finchley constituency.
He came into the international limelight with his 1997 appointment to the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Most notably, he served as the presiding judge in the proceeedings to prosecute former Serbian and Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milošević on war crimes charges.
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