Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now
Profile for Phillip Taylor MBE > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Phillip Taylor MBE
Top Reviewer Ranking: 565
Helpful Votes: 2005

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Phillip Taylor MBE (Richmond Upon Thames, England)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
[ BALLOT BOX TO JURY BOX THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN ENGLISH CROWN COURT JUDGE ] By Baker, John ( AUTHOR ) Nov-2005[ Paperback ]
[ BALLOT BOX TO JURY BOX THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN ENGLISH CROWN COURT JUDGE ] By Baker, John ( AUTHOR ) Nov-2005[ Paperback ]
by John Baker
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A SERIOUS BUSINESS AND A SPECIAL CAUSE, 27 Jun. 2016
A SERIOUS BUSINESS AND A SPECIAL CAUSE

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

This is, without doubt, a special book which combines personal judicial memories with an historic understanding of the history of the Liberal Party in second last half of the twentieth century.

It is a very ‘human’ book, which is to be expected in view of the author’s experiences, and it gives a new insight into some of the hitherto unknown aspects of political life from the end of World War Two.

The latter part of the book illustrates some candid commentaries on contemporary judicial thinking at the time and John Baker is not inhibited when describing some of the individuals he has become involved with professionally since 1972.

It is clear that Judge Baker was a loss to the Parliamentary world, but it is also interesting to reflect, as I have done, on how many active politicians I have met from all three main parties who fall into the same category as Baker. My Tory colleagues have often described election to Parliament as a lottery and, I am afraid I have to agree. Of course, luck plays its prominent part but politics was not to be for John Baker – the Bench was all the better for this course of events.

It was fortunate for the English judicial system that the Courts Act arrived when it did (long overdue), enabling Baker to participate in one of the more exciting reforms of the late twentieth century. He is probably lucky he does not have to put up with the current ‘reforms’ which are more to do with expediency and cost cutting after some ill-thought out extravagancies from 1990s which have left the criminal justice process in a complete mess.

Baker is also lucky to have escaped the crusading media who are clearly out to criticise lenient sentencing and ‘outing soft judges’ when the media don’t know what it is collectively talking about.

Whilst much has been written of John Baker’s political life, it is for his judicial work that he will be remembered. From chapter 7 onwards with ‘Starting on the Bench’ he describes, with some candour, the plight which can confront newly appointed judges. I suspect his practice as a solicitor gave him an additional insight into what the Lord Chancellor expected of Her Majesty’s Judges in 1970s – thankfully, a role now firmly in the hands of the Lord Chief Justice.

Any member of the Bar who has an interest in pursuing a judicial career should read this book. It is written very much in the personal style of the man himself and paints a most useful picture of the path which the judiciary have taken since the big changes of the 1970s and the creation of the Judicial Studies Board.

The mixture of everyday people and the various celebrities which one meets in both politics and law is well covered and dealt with deftly by Baker who has an amiable but firm approach throughout.

I have read many judicial biographies and autobiographies but this one stands out for the serious business and the special cause which John Baker has stood for: it is a great addition to the world of judicial biography.


Ballot Box to Jury Box The Life and Times of an English Crown Court Judge by Baker, John ( AUTHOR ) Nov-14-2005 Paperback
Ballot Box to Jury Box The Life and Times of an English Crown Court Judge by Baker, John ( AUTHOR ) Nov-14-2005 Paperback
by John Baker
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A SERIOUS BUSINESS AND A SPECIAL CAUSE, 27 Jun. 2016
A SERIOUS BUSINESS AND A SPECIAL CAUSE

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

This is, without doubt, a special book which combines personal judicial memories with an historic understanding of the history of the Liberal Party in second last half of the twentieth century.

It is a very ‘human’ book, which is to be expected in view of the author’s experiences, and it gives a new insight into some of the hitherto unknown aspects of political life from the end of World War Two.

The latter part of the book illustrates some candid commentaries on contemporary judicial thinking at the time and John Baker is not inhibited when describing some of the individuals he has become involved with professionally since 1972.

It is clear that Judge Baker was a loss to the Parliamentary world, but it is also interesting to reflect, as I have done, on how many active politicians I have met from all three main parties who fall into the same category as Baker. My Tory colleagues have often described election to Parliament as a lottery and, I am afraid I have to agree. Of course, luck plays its prominent part but politics was not to be for John Baker – the Bench was all the better for this course of events.

It was fortunate for the English judicial system that the Courts Act arrived when it did (long overdue), enabling Baker to participate in one of the more exciting reforms of the late twentieth century. He is probably lucky he does not have to put up with the current ‘reforms’ which are more to do with expediency and cost cutting after some ill-thought out extravagancies from 1990s which have left the criminal justice process in a complete mess.

Baker is also lucky to have escaped the crusading media who are clearly out to criticise lenient sentencing and ‘outing soft judges’ when the media don’t know what it is collectively talking about.

Whilst much has been written of John Baker’s political life, it is for his judicial work that he will be remembered. From chapter 7 onwards with ‘Starting on the Bench’ he describes, with some candour, the plight which can confront newly appointed judges. I suspect his practice as a solicitor gave him an additional insight into what the Lord Chancellor expected of Her Majesty’s Judges in 1970s – thankfully, a role now firmly in the hands of the Lord Chief Justice.

Any member of the Bar who has an interest in pursuing a judicial career should read this book. It is written very much in the personal style of the man himself and paints a most useful picture of the path which the judiciary have taken since the big changes of the 1970s and the creation of the Judicial Studies Board.

The mixture of everyday people and the various celebrities which one meets in both politics and law is well covered and dealt with deftly by Baker who has an amiable but firm approach throughout.

I have read many judicial biographies and autobiographies but this one stands out for the serious business and the special cause which John Baker has stood for: it is a great addition to the world of judicial biography.


Ballot Box to Jury Box: The Life and Times of an English Crown Court Judge by Baker, John (2006) Paperback
Ballot Box to Jury Box: The Life and Times of an English Crown Court Judge by Baker, John (2006) Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A SERIOUS BUSINESS AND A SPECIAL CAUSE, 27 Jun. 2016
A SERIOUS BUSINESS AND A SPECIAL CAUSE

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

This is, without doubt, a special book which combines personal judicial memories with an historic understanding of the history of the Liberal Party in second last half of the twentieth century.

It is a very ‘human’ book, which is to be expected in view of the author’s experiences, and it gives a new insight into some of the hitherto unknown aspects of political life from the end of World War Two.

The latter part of the book illustrates some candid commentaries on contemporary judicial thinking at the time and John Baker is not inhibited when describing some of the individuals he has become involved with professionally since 1972.

It is clear that Judge Baker was a loss to the Parliamentary world, but it is also interesting to reflect, as I have done, on how many active politicians I have met from all three main parties who fall into the same category as Baker. My Tory colleagues have often described election to Parliament as a lottery and, I am afraid I have to agree. Of course, luck plays its prominent part but politics was not to be for John Baker – the Bench was all the better for this course of events.

It was fortunate for the English judicial system that the Courts Act arrived when it did (long overdue), enabling Baker to participate in one of the more exciting reforms of the late twentieth century. He is probably lucky he does not have to put up with the current ‘reforms’ which are more to do with expediency and cost cutting after some ill-thought out extravagancies from 1990s which have left the criminal justice process in a complete mess.

Baker is also lucky to have escaped the crusading media who are clearly out to criticise lenient sentencing and ‘outing soft judges’ when the media don’t know what it is collectively talking about.

Whilst much has been written of John Baker’s political life, it is for his judicial work that he will be remembered. From chapter 7 onwards with ‘Starting on the Bench’ he describes, with some candour, the plight which can confront newly appointed judges. I suspect his practice as a solicitor gave him an additional insight into what the Lord Chancellor expected of Her Majesty’s Judges in 1970s – thankfully, a role now firmly in the hands of the Lord Chief Justice.

Any member of the Bar who has an interest in pursuing a judicial career should read this book. It is written very much in the personal style of the man himself and paints a most useful picture of the path which the judiciary have taken since the big changes of the 1970s and the creation of the Judicial Studies Board.

The mixture of everyday people and the various celebrities which one meets in both politics and law is well covered and dealt with deftly by Baker who has an amiable but firm approach throughout.

I have read many judicial biographies and autobiographies but this one stands out for the serious business and the special cause which John Baker has stood for: it is a great addition to the world of judicial biography.


The Law of the Rights of Light
The Law of the Rights of Light
by Jonathan Karas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £60.00

5.0 out of 5 stars AN IMPORTANT PRACTITIONER TEXT, 24 Jun. 2016
AN IMPORTANT PRACTITIONER TEXT
IN AN AREA OF MUCH NEIGHBOUR DISPUTE ON THE EMOTIVE SUBJECT OF RIGHTS OF LIGHT

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

A number of books have appeared recently on the emotive subject of rights of light and this one, by Jonathan Karas QC, stands out as the best of the recent publications. Wildy, Simmonds and Hill have surpassed themselves this time in the complex and exciting area of easements which the author rightly says is often “treated warily by land lawyers”.

Jonathan Karas gives us a new, short and comprehensive treatment of the controversial topic of rights of light in 300 pages by showing that they are simply just another legal subject albeit it one which can be the subject of so many neighbour disputes. The eleven chapters prove the point very well.

This title explains how rights can be established, what constitutes an infringement of those rights and what remedies can be provided for the infringement of those rights, and it is a rare gem for its brevity. It also considers in highly practical detail how claims may be defended and rights overridden using the mechanism under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, section 237 which will be of interest to the growing band of litigants in person.

Karas also sets the law in its wider context showing that, despite the technicalities which arise, there are no legal problems with which a competent lawyer cannot grapple. Such an approach will be a genuine relief to many practitioners who often feel confounded by this subject although it is not as difficult as many perceive it to be.

What we found of particular importance is that the title benefits from the two important technical appendices written by Point 2 Surveyors. The first explains how light is measured, and the second how losses are valued. These appendices also explain the limits of current methodology and are invaluable as a first line resource for advice. And, of course, these limits leave current methods ripe for reconsideration by the Courts.

“The Law of Rights of Light” is both a welcome and an essential addition to the shelves of lawyers, surveyors and other property professionals. As the author says in his Preface, “some of the wariness of lawyers can perhaps be explained by the complex ways in which light and its loss have been measured” which we consider to be one of the greatest strengths of this excellent edition from Wildy, Simmonds and Hill.

The appendices provide us with the “tools with which to ask intelligent questions of their technical witnesses” and will be of special help to Counsel. They also show some light (if we can put it that way) on some of the difficulties of the current methods which surveyors, as our expert witnesses, might face and they suggest how practice in this area may develop in the future. To us, as specialists in easement and covenant cases, this work is invaluable for neighbour disputes which remain on the increase.

Thank you, Jonathan Karas.

The law is stated as at 1st January 2016.


Lions under the Throne
Lions under the Throne
by Stephen Sedley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.39

5.0 out of 5 stars THE MODERN ROLE OF JUDGES REVISITED WITH MOST READABLE ESSAYS ON MODERN PUBLIC LAW IN AN HISTORIC CONTEXT, 13 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Lions under the Throne (Paperback)
THE MODERN ROLE OF JUDGES REVISITED WITH MOST READABLE ESSAYS ON MODERN PUBLIC LAW IN AN HISTORIC CONTEXT

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Many will quite rightly say that it’s high time we had a modern view on the relationship between the judiciary, parliament and the executive when the effectiveness of public law is reviewed. That is what we have here.

Cambridge University Press has just published a first class series of lectures created by Stephen Sedley. They offer practitioners and academics an important contribution to the contemporary development of modern public law as we recognise it today some centuries after Francis Bacon’s 1625 declaration that judges must be lions, “but lions under the throne”.

The book is 300 pages long and has 14 chapters split into two parts covering “Histories” and “Themes” which result from some 12 lectures delivered by Sedley several years ago. Do read the introductory chapter which sets the scene perfectly and gives us a useful definition of “Public Law” as “the body of law, embracing both administrative and constitutional law, by which the state is regulated both institutionally and in its dealings with individuals”.

Sedley declares that the book does not cover such a large space but is merely “a series of test drillings into a landmass”. Taking the imagery further, he states that the “vertical drillings are thematic attempts to trace their topic from early days to the present”, whilst the horizontal drillings which are not sequential, “take a stratum of time and examine developments in public law within it”.

And Sedley succeeds spectacularly here with his mission to give a 21st century commentary on public law almost 400 years after Bacon’s original evaluation of the role of the judge during the dramatic constitutional reign of the Stuarts.

“Public law”, as many lecturers know, is not necessarily an easy subject to teach and one which many students do not like (the same goes for Jurisprudence and Legal Theory). An expansion of the role of public law in the last 50 years has made it a much more formidable and important substantive law area today, especially for Counsel.

Thus, the history of English Law can be a great intellectual leveller for students! Sedley reminds us that “although practitioners in a common-law system sometimes have to deploy historical material”, such use “tends to be goal-orientated and to lack context”: he must have had some issues with precedence! However, mention of context and, dare we say it, the politics of judicial review itself will always be overriding features for all three power groups under the separation of the powers as history does tend to repeat itself.

A final word can be left to the very basis of our system- the rule of law itself covered at the end of the book by Sedley when he reviews the works of Dicey. Sedley describes the rule of law as “an elusive and protean concept” which “has no fixed meaning” and he reminds us that it “certainly no longer has the anglocentric self-assurance” which “its originator, Dicey, clothed it.

800 years after the sealing of Magna Carta, Sedley suggest, rightly, that what this signals today is “a shared ideal that individuals and society should not be subject to the whim of the powerful” and that is what these eminently readable essays are all about as valuable observations of where public law is in 2016.


Comparative Competition Law (Research Handbooks in Comparative Law Series)
Comparative Competition Law (Research Handbooks in Comparative Law Series)
by John Duns
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £158.18

5.0 out of 5 stars A WELCOME EXPLANATION OF THE INCREASING GLOBAL RECOGNITION OF COMPETITION LAW INTERNATIONALLY, 12 Jun. 2016
A WELCOME EXPLANATION OF THE INCREASING GLOBAL RECOGNITION OF COMPETITION LAW INTERNATIONALLY

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

For this excellent new handbook we have described it to the publishers, Edward Elgar, in the following succinct way:

“Comparative Competition Law provides a welcome scholarly examination of the key global issues that impact the way law and policy operate, as the proliferation of anti-trust regimes over the past 25 years has led to a global recognition of competition law."

And it is exactly that - a welcome new compilation of research views on international competition law which will be a book to treasure for legal academics.

It does examine in excellent academic detail the key global issues which we face and the way law and policy operate as our international community becomes more integrated legally with the growth of the number of anti-trust regimes since the early 1990s.

This research handbook on “Comparative Competition Law” was specially commissioned by Elgar with original chapters on descriptive material from legal academics across the continents including contributions from the United States, Europe, Japan, India, China, South America, and Australia.

Each contributor is to be congratulated for providing an interwoven patchwork synthesis of how current competition issues are dealt with today by examination of the contrasting views and approaches taken.

The book examines in a most useful academic style these differing approaches which have been taken in the different major jurisdictions.

It does so at a time when the original aims behind the creation of the European Union are facing a major new test for its future direction in the second decade of the 21st century as the fourth industrial revolution involving information technology develops.

The publication date is stated as 2015 and the book is available in print form and online.


Flack's Last Shift
Flack's Last Shift
by Alex Wade
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHERE LAW AND JOURNALISM MEET:, 12 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Flack's Last Shift (Hardcover)
WHERE LAW AND JOURNALISM MEET:
A NEW NEWSROOM NOVEL ABOUT A FLEET STREET LAWYER AND THE TRAUMAS OF HIS PAST

An appreciation by Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Flack is not a hack. He has an abiding love of journalism, but he is not a journalist; he is a lawyer. Specifically he is what is known as a night lawyer. For those who aren’t quite sure, a night lawyer is a strange sort of fish -- or night owl, actually -- who prowls nocturnally and works punctiliously on a major newspaper to make sure that said newspaper doesn’t get sued for something libelous or generally actionable that’s scheduled to appear in print the next morning. Rather than damage limitation, this is damage prevention. Law suits can be expensive.

With his sharp eye, incisive mind and impressive legal credentials, Oxford educated Harry Flack has saved his newspaper tons of money. But now, with decades of experience behind him, having frequently rescued his paper from financial ruin over the years, Flack must retire.

This debut novel from lawyer and journalist Alex Wade is the saga of Flack’s angst-ridden last shift on his beloved Fleet Street broadsheet, the Record. But more than that, it is about past traumas that have affected Flack’s life and not for the better. Looking retirement in the face, Flack -- as Wade puts it -- ‘must go home and confront the loneliness of his life.’ He has shared with his boss, says Wade, ‘an undying love of print media, a love which was happy to speak its name and which would withstand all, even the internet’. But Flack has also had another love which has destroyed him.

Dig deeper into this curious yet compelling novel and you discover via flashbacks, why Flack when young suddenly abandoned his lucrative law career and the promise of a partnership to become a night lawyer. Yes, he loves newspapers, which he reads by the ton, much to the annoyance of his fiancé Helen, a lawyer at one of those magic circle firms where she ends up photocopying documents all day. Craving a lot more excitement in her life, Helen soon finds it in the arms of aspiring journalist and accomplished love rat, Eddie Conrad. Decent, unsuspecting Flack catches them in flagrante one day and -- yikes, shock, horror – he does absolutely nothing, except dump Helen -- and his flat -- and his law career -- and every future prospect that could have come with it. Helen herself is shortly dumped thereafter by the ruthless Eddie.

It is at this pivotal moment that Flack discovers his true vocation and sails forth on the uncertain seas of night lawyering, where he becomes almost universally acknowledged, sometimes grudgingly, as ‘one of the most respected Fleet Street lawyers of his generation’.

Fleet Street’s finest is what Flack definitely is, but as he reminisces about all this on his very last shift, he is in for another shock. A new editor arrives. It is none other than his old nemesis and hate object, Eddie Conrad -- and -- double yikes, more shock, and more horror -- Fleet-street hardened Flack now plots to destroy the man who once destroyed him.

Killing is too good for the lordly Eddie, the archetypal office bully (who loves saying things like: ‘you all know who I am’). Flack’s plans for him are arguably a lot worse than death. Published by London-based Blue Mark Books, ‘Flack’s Last Shift’ is a newsroom thriller with unexpected twists of plot and revealing insights into the fraught and frantic world of the press, particularly those aspects of it where law and journalism meet.

In the author’s words, Flack’s daily – or well, nightly – task has been to ‘navigate the twin frontiers of the legally acceptable and the linguistically permissible.’

But Flack doesn’t merely hunt down and destroy stray apostrophes (good for him!), he must be constantly on the alert for all those juicy exposes which, without a radical re-write, ‘cannot be published owing to the complete and utter absence of admissible evidence.’

Flack’s career is illustrative of the changes that have taken place in the media in the past quarter century as the book touches on privacy actions, super-injunctions, phone hacking scandals and a lot more -- all amid the relentless development of information technology. The phlegmatic Flack, always under pressure and obsessed by his own heartache, emerges as a character with hidden depths. No wonder he just plain loses it, so to speak, at the end of his career.

If you haven’t already guessed, the book’s title deliberately references ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ a (mercifully) short play by Samuel Beckett about a failed writer.

But don’t let that put you off. The book is a rattling good read and, more so if you are… or have ever been… or desperately want to be… a journalist or a lawyer!


Criminal costs: Legal Aid Costs in the Criminal Courts
Criminal costs: Legal Aid Costs in the Criminal Courts
by Anthony Edwards with Colin Beaumont
Edition: Paperback
Price: £50.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A SUCCINCT AND DEFINING STATEMENT ON CURRENT CRIMINAL COSTS – NEW FROM THE LAG, 11 Jun. 2016
A SUCCINCT AND DEFINING STATEMENT ON CURRENT CRIMINAL COSTS – NEW FROM THE LAG

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

If ever there was a book which clarifies and explains in plain English the myriad complexities of legal aid costs in the criminal courts, it’s this one. And the fact that it is published by the punctilious and plain- speaking folk at the LAG (Legal Action Group) is all the more reassuring.

The LAG publishes a wide range of books on a variety of legal subjects. In line with the mission of this charity to explain and simplify the law (if possible) rather that further complicate it the common thread between all these publications is their clarity. As a result virtually all the LAG books, including this one, are highly readable and accessible to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

That said, the target readership for this book is obviously the criminal law fraternity involved in legal aid work, of which there isn’t as much about anymore, except for those areas where legal aid is still available to clients. If this is your area of endeavour then this is the book that tells you what you can charge for and how much. Given the scope and mind-blowing complexity of the subject, it’s an advantage to the reader that the book is logically organised and easy to use.

The book kicks off with an initial chapter on the principles of costs and enforcement in criminal legal aid cases. The pivotal concept is expressed in the word ‘reasonable’ so it is often repeated throughout.

‘Reasonable’ costs, for example, would include routine letters (including emails) and telephone calls, preparation, advocacy and travel and waiting time. We found that the multiplicity of fees tables -- almost 50 of them -- give some indication of the complications inherent in estimating and determining fees.

For any practitioner involved in magistrates’ court and crown court work, or at the police station, this book functions as a through straightforward and relatively easy to follow guide to, for example, fixed and graduated fee schemes and the principles that apply.

Virtually every aspect of this subject receives clear, succinct coverage, from criminal investigations to prison law, appeals and reviews, high cost criminal cases, disbursements, administrative issues and much more, including a brief but useful section on virtual courts.

Author Anthony Edwards is an acknowledged expert in this field, being a solicitor, high court advocate and duty solicitor. He is also a visiting professor at Queen Mary University and member of the Law Commission’s advocacy panel on criminal law. Edwards has either written or collaborated on an impressive range of high-profile legal publications, from ‘Blackstone’s Criminal Practice’ to the ‘Magistrates’ Court Handbook’, to the LAG’s’ Legal Aid Handbook’.

As the publishers note, this handy paperback volume is indeed authoritative, with ‘answers to all the tricky questions in one place…. and what a time saver it is! Also note the resources at the front: the tables of cases, LAA points of principle of general importance, statutes, statutory instruments and yes, the index of fees table.

Furthermore, the book is cited as up to date to include new remuneration rules for cases started on or after 1 April 2016.


Marshall Hall: A Law unto Himself
Marshall Hall: A Law unto Himself
by Sally Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A COMPASSIONATE MAN WHO WILL REMAIN MOST SPECIAL TO ALL ADVOCATES AND TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, 5 Jun. 2016
A COMPASSIONATE MAN WHO WILL REMAIN MOST SPECIAL TO ALL ADVOCATES AND TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

This important biography is a book about yesterday for today’s readers before everything changes with the way we do our legal business.

It’s quite possible that the art of the advocate will be modified again very rapidly in the twenty-first century as we see the creation of new ways to resolve disputes with emphasis on the written word and online decisions.

However, Sir Edward Marshall Hall will always remain top of the advocate’s tree as a man who fitted into a particular part of our more recent legal history during that winding down period of what was a particularly brutal and insensitive judicial past.

Sally Smith QC gives us the twenty-first century view of an Edwardian barrister following on the seminal work from Edward Marjoribanks which people of my vintage read as part of our legal studies decades ago.

Counsel today are not (thankfully) viewed in the same way as they were in the early 20th century. The Bar has rightly moved away from its heavy newspaper emphasis on “celebrity lawyers” in a different media age although we do have a few contemporary contenders whom we all know and love!

The bitchiness and downright hostility and grudge-holding which permeated the Bar of the past are well documented in this thoughtful and well-constructed new biography. Smith has not been constrained by sycophancy which has been the problem of so many biographies when the subject has recently passed on. So we have a reasoned and meticulous analysis for 2016.

That is not to say that Marjoribanks produced a work with only the good points covered because he did not so his work should always be read for the excellent points of advocacy and speech detail covered in 1930s. He had to leave certain matters out which were and remain common knowledge about Marshall within the Bar and made him the man he was. We now have a better picture of Marshall the man thanks to Sally Smith.

I am sure most judges are delighted not to have to sit through a modern day Marshall Hall, if she or he could ever exist now. It’s highly unlikely as they would probably be disbarred if not sent to Coventry pretty quickly if they tried some of the splendid devices Marshall used (which still work, actually, but be very, very careful).

Not everyone can be such a good advocate because one cannot, as Marshall’s life shows, learn such an attribute or facility: it has to be experienced. Yes, experience does count but the very frailty and vulnerability of the human condition makes the successful advocate that very special person who was needed at a time of judicial homicide and massive public interest in capital trials.

Fortunately, we can decline the services, generally, of a modern day Marshall because the sanctions are all most moderate in comparison with his time yet the crimes were just as gruesome. There’s something about a capital trial which is always going to be different and the nearest we get to it today here is the death sentence passed on a pet (non-human) unless one has actually represented parties in capital proceedings abroad.

One can reflect, when reading Sally’s exceptionally crafted account of Marshall’s life, why he was the way he was irrespective of the outcome of his cases and those clients who lied to him: it has happened to all of us, of course.

There is always a bit of Marshall Hall in all of us as advocates even today when we are heavily constrained by what we say and do. The recommendation is that all budding advocates should ensure they read this new well-researched version of Marshall’s life afresh, especially trainee lawyers at any level.

If he was nothing else, Marshall lives as a man with a warning about how we should do things in our forensic world: with care, meticulous planning and checking, relevant specific expertise and a special flamboyance so often sneered at by some both then and now… but it does work!

And this book also works for modern Counsel today and should be compulsory reading for all lawyers and general readers for the future.

Final words are left to Smith at the end of the 19 chapters when she writes that “Marshall was the ultimate exponent of total advocacy: he lived his entire life as though the world was one huge courtroom and its inhabitants a universal jury to beguile. He cared little or nothing for the restraints of his profession, or for the discipline of the law; be he introduced the concept of compassion into a legal system in which it was lacking, was universally adored and trusted by those whom that system is meant to serve, made speeches of such extraordinary power that they have lived on for more than a century and, more important of all, saved many lives. No other lawyer could claim that.”

Absolutely!


Computer Crimes and Digital Investigations
Computer Crimes and Digital Investigations
by Ian Walden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £110.00

5.0 out of 5 stars ‘A BOOK OF REFERENCE ON CRIME WITH A CYBERSPACE FILTER’ –- NOW IN A NEW EDITION, 27 May 2016
‘A BOOK OF REFERENCE ON CRIME WITH A CYBERSPACE FILTER’ –- NOW IN A NEW EDITION

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

There appear to be certain lofty members of our profession including (rather astoundingly) a few members of the judiciary who still think cyberspace is something of a space oddity. They should only read this book.

Aimed specifically at the criminal law fraternity, Ian Walden’s ‘Digital Crimes and Digital Investigations’ will nonetheless be of interest to all lawyers who inevitably will have to deal with ‘high tech’ crime issues. In providing an overview of this indubitably vexed subject, this book, now in a new second edition, makes an important contribution to the still relatively scarce body of literature concerning this specialised area of law.

The first edition was published – would you believe – nine years ago. And in case there are still a number of practitioners and judges out there who need reminding, the Internet was long past its infancy even then, having been in widespread use at the time for at least ten years. Recently published by the Oxford University Press, the book provides an important update which will certainly be welcomed by criminal practitioners.

As the title indicates, the focus is on computer crime, more commonly referred to as ‘cyber-crime’ – a phenomenon facilitated by the ever-developing technologies of computer connectivity – i.e. the Internet. Now ubiquitous and almost instantly available, the Internet in the author’s words, has become ‘a key resource of the global economy.’ Largely unregulated (except in totalitarian states) the Internet has also become a key resource for assorted criminals and terrorists.

Author Ian Walden, who hails from Baker McKenzie and teaches an LLM course entitled ‘International Cybercrimes and Investigations’, mentions that the clients with whom he has had dealings, have exposed him to issues and insights that are not normally available to academics. He has also been a board member of a number of institutions concerned with Internet scrutiny, particularly on Internet safety.

The book, he says, may be viewed simply as a criminal law text’ ‘operating as a filter through which we can examine the whys and wherefores of criminal law and policy.’ It can be regarded as a computer crime book, or ‘a book on crime with a cyberspace filter’ -- in short, a book which focuses specifically on crime, as opposed to other aspects of internet usage such as contracts, trademarks, domain names and the like, not to mention ordinary communications.

As the author also remarks, it is obvious that computers ‘may play a part in the commission of nearly every form of criminal activity, from fraud to murder.’ The subject area is so wide that large chunks of it go beyond the scope of this book. The author therefore turns our attention to problems where computers and networks are involved, ‘either,’ he says, because ‘the legislation was drafted in an era before such technology was envisaged, or because statutory drafting has failed to be robust enough to appropriately address the use of information computer technologies (ICT).’ And there, fellow lawyers, lies the crux of the problem.

This is indeed a massive subject and those who crave further information on it will find research references aplenty in this book, including tables of cases, legislation and international treaties and conventions. Also note the four appendices, extensive footnoting and the ten-page bibliography.

Based on recent developments in digital and the current pace of change, it is anticipated that further editions of this distinguished and accessible work of reference will appear in the future, ideally at more frequent intervals.

The publication date is cited as at 2016.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20