The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken
I’m a barrister, a job which requires the skills of a social worker, relationship counsellor, arm-twister, hostage negotiator, named driver, bus fare-provider, accountant, suicide watchman, coffee-supplier, surrogate parent and, on one memorable occasion, whatever the official term is for someone tasked with breaking the news to a prisoner that his girlfriend has been diagnosed with gonorrhoea.
Welcome to the world of the Secret Barrister. These are the stories of life inside the courtroom. They are sometimes funny, often moving and ultimately life-changing.
How can you defend a child-abuser you suspect to be guilty? What do you say to someone sentenced to ten years who you believe to be innocent? What is the law and why do we need it?
And why do they wear those stupid wigs?
From the criminals to the lawyers, the victims, witnesses and officers of the law, here is the best and worst of humanity, all struggling within a broken system which would never be off the front pages if the public knew what it was really like.
Both a searing first-hand account of the human cost of the criminal justice system, and a guide to how we got into this mess,The Secret Barristerwants to show you what it’s really like and why it really matters.
Its stories of how the law often fails those whom it is meant to protect - how do barristers feel when someone they believe to be innocent gets banged up for five years? - make for gripping reading
John Crace, The Guardian
Funny, frightening, frequently infuriating but above all profoundly human. As a sensitive and knowledgeable storyteller, the Secret Barrister does for lawyers what James Herriot did for vets
'The Secret Barrister is mordantly clear, chillingly well-observed and terrifyingly funny. I have rarely read a book that filled me with greater fury. Read this, give it to friends, share the Secret Barrister's testimony with strangers - it's a rare and righteous thing
A. L. Kennedy, Man Booker-longlisted author of Serious Sweet
An expert and eloquent account of much that has gone wrong with our criminal law procedures: this book is accurate, informative and sensibly points the way to pragmatic reforms
Geoffrey Robertson QC, author of The Justice Game