HERE'S HOW IT WORKS -- AND IN PLAIN ENGLISH TOO!
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
Newcomers to the study of law often regard the subject as an abstruse one, even though fascinating. This is partly because, as the author Gary Slapper points out, most students of law at universities encounter this complex and varied field for the first time, not having had the benefit of studying it previously in school.
Here, then, is a useful and engaging source of explanation of the law of England and Wales in clear, plain English. Students and non-lawyers alike, wishing to improve their knowledge of the law will love it.
Professor Slapper, director of the Law School at The Open University maintains (quite rightly) that law is a matter of life and death. Whether you know - or choose to know -- anything about the law or not, law affects just about everything in your world, whether important or unimportant -- from the air you breathe, to the food you eat, to property, and family relationships... or whether you are able to have any property or family relationships, or for that matter, adequate food at all. `The rule of law is the first rule of a democracy,' says the author, noting that `in a democracy like the UK's the law has the highest power.'
Like every other utterance and insight in this richly detailed book, these observations provide considerable food for thought. Gradually, much of the mystery of the law is to a gratifying extent, demystified and explained page by page, often with entertaining anecdotes and with enlightening historical perspective.
The useful and detailed table of contents lists the topics covered, including Judges... Lawyers... Cases and the Courts... Interpreting Acts of Parliament... The Jury... Language and the Law, and much more besides. The book is full of what might be termed `aha' moments. To cite one example, did you know the word `solicitor' is derived from the Latin `solicito' which means `I bother or worry': This should be inscribed on the front door of the Law Society, definitely!
Usefully for novices in the law, there are any number of suggestions for further reading, not to mention tables of cases and legislation, together with a bibliography and glossary of terms. `Miscellany' the last chapter includes `ten great free websites offering law... ten great places to experience law live... and ten great films for those interested in the law.' Written not just to be studied, but enjoyed, `How the Law Works' does work brilliantly as an informed and informative introduction to the study of law for those approaching it for the first time.