Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
Very true picture of our great criminal justice system
on 14 August 2010
Absolutely a brilliant book. Reading it made me reflect on my role within the criminal justice system and how sad it is that the profession of criminal barristers is dying out due to all the cuts in legal aid.
Mr. McBride paints a true picture of the criminal justice system with the history of how it evolved. Very easy to eat and very funny. At times I could not stop laughing and as a criminal solicitor myself, I felt empathy for him.
One reviewer pointed out that most laws are made by lawyers but it is one thing to be a lawyer and it is another to be a CRIMINAL lawyer. Usually criminal lawyers do not sit in the parliament and our former prime minster did not practise criminal law. Nor does cherie blair to a certain extent. Therefore they do not understand what it is like to work within the criminal justice system.
Now another reviewer said it is not right that Mr. McBride points out the short comings of the prison and the jury systems but does not recommend any alternative systems. Well, thats because it is difficult to. The jury system is not perfect but it is the best one we have. Mr. McBride certainly points out the positive aspects of the jury system (it is certainly better than what we have at the magistrates' courts). Also the prison system does not reform an offender but that is usually not the public's objective. Prison is seen as a place of punishment and when someone is in prison it protects the public's safety.
I know how frustrating it is to work with the short comings of the government bodies. The worst one by far is the crown prosecution service. They do not look at magistrates court cases until the day before the trial and the crown court cases never gets properly reviewed until the week before. When defence lawyers complain to the courts about the crown's inefficiency, the judges just give the crown more time. It's absolutely appalling and if the defence is ever late with deadlines, court would simply order us to pay wasted costs but no matter how late the crown is wasted costs orders are rarely made against them.
It is double standard and it is hell to live with and even more frustrating for the client. The courts are useless too. You complain and complain but it just falls on deaf ears. No one ever takes any responsibilities at the courts or at the crown.
The police were most competent body in the system but I think thats likely to change with all the financial changes that they are going through. A special constable (a volunteer officer) dealing with serious cases make me nervous and reach for alcohol.
But there you have it. It is not the defendant or whether they are indeed innocent but rather about cutting costs.