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The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken Hardcover – 22 Mar 2018
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By turns eye-opening, damning and hilarious, the secret barrister lifts the lid on a legal system where the system, the politicians, the lack of funding and sometimes the judges are the real villains and the victims are all of us (Tim Shipman, author of Fall Out and All Out War)
The Secret Barrister can write...everyone who has any interest in public life should read it...this is a book of some brilliance, clearly explained, cogently argued (Daily Mail)
Takes the reader deep into the bowels of the criminal justice system...the message of this entertaining book is delivered with great skill...the book is at once a lament and a celebration...the justice system as not just for criminals and victims but for all of us - it is the symbol of our nation's humanity (The Times)
Terrifying and occasionally hilarious... this is an eye-opening, if depressing, account of the practice of law today. Perhaps there is hope, but the author leaves us in no doubt that urgent reform is needed (The Observer)
This excellent book will hopefully raise awareness of what has been, until now, a silent crisis. It is at once a vicious polemic, a helpful primer and a cringe-inducing account of one barrister's travails (Daily Telegraph)
A sensation beyond lawyers’ circles. The Secret Barrister is an anguished, detailed polemic by an anonymous current practitioner about how dangerously flawed, fragile and underfunded our famed legal system has become . . . an SOS, a desperate and cogent call for action and resources before the justice system, and our faith in it, collapses . . . I hope the arguments . . . will resonate widely – and that the government will act on them before it is too late. (Jenni Russell Sunday Times)
The unfolding calamity in our criminal justice system is best told in The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken. This angry yet forensic analysis from first arrest to prison is a gripping front-line view by an anonymous, lowly criminal barrister. Read and rage at evidence that “every day the provably guilty walk free”, while the hapless needlessly end up in jail. (Polly Toynbee Guardian)
Fluently and engagingly written...a copy of this book should be placed on the desk of every judge, every trainee lawyer, every would-be lawyer, every politician, and every minister responsible for the legal system (The Literary Review)
An illuminating and timely insight into the legal system, transforming arcane practice into accessible and fascinating anecdote (Sunday Express)
If you have not already met The Secret Barrister, he or she makes an entertaining and acerbic holiday companion for those who don’t switch off their brains in summer (Hilary Mantel Guardian, Best Summer Books 2018)
An anonymous barrister writes a darkly comic, provocative and moving first-hand account of life in the legal system and how it's failing us allSee all Product description
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It seems that now, if you look behind the very thin surface veneer of any public service in the UK you find the same things - chaos and Not Enough To Go Round. Why? It is one of the richest countries in the world, and the expectations and sense of entitlements of its citizens cannot exceed the ability of the state to deliver them to the extent that they appear to.
We need more books like this. We need them to be thrust not only into the hands of all politicians, but of teachers too, of all influencers. It's time to get angry!
The Secret Barrister is packed with information and detail and a forceful argument is sustained throughout the book. If this leads to a good deal of ranting, it is because the author feels genuine anger and passion about the problems. I must confess, however, that I was put off by the author's forced humour and his/her fondness for flippant colloquialisms. S/he also seems unable to decide whether the book is intended as a serious contribution to the criminal justice literature, a taster for first year law students or a pot boiler for popular consumption. Though somewhat idiosyncratic, The Secret Barrister is nonetheless firmly based on the author's own experience of working in the criminal courts and on his/her knowledge of the academic writing and research on the subject.
It leaves no doubt that the age of 'fat cats' is well and truly over for our new intake of struggling junior barristers who have to navigate a level of complete chaos in our courts that exploits their goodwill and sense of moral duty while running on an empty tank.
Worst of all, it is we, the innocent, who are paying the price of a woefully underfunded public legal system. So few of us now qualify for Legal Aid that if you are innocently acquitted from false accusations, *you* will be the one left with no apology and no refund - just a lifetime mortgage repaying 100K plus legal fees defending a case you were ultimately blameless for.
It also highlights the differences and advantages of seeking 'the truth' through our seemingly contentious yet potentially rigorous adversarial system over a potentially flawed continental inquisitorial approach.
An excellent, wide ranging -and funny- book that should make us just as concerned about this as the dismantling of the NHS.
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