In Your Defence: True Stories of Life and Law (Hardback)Sarah Langford (author)
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'Sarah Langford breathes vibrancy and compassion into the dusty tomes of the law, capturing and exposing the raw humanity lying beneath the system....' - The Secret Barrister
Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom. These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways. They are stories which, but for a twist of luck, might have been yours.
To work at the Bar is to enter a world shrouded by strange clothing, archaic rituals and inaccessible language. So how does it feel to be an instrument of such an unknowable system? And what does it mean to be at its mercy? Our legal system promises us justice, impartiality and fair judgement. Does it, or can it, deliver this?
With remarkable candour, Sarah describes eleven cases which reveal what goes on in our criminal and family courts. She examines how she feels as she defends the person standing in the dock. She tells compelling stories - of domestic fall out, everyday burglary, sexual indiscretion, and children caught up in the law - that are sometimes shocking and often heart-stopping. She shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself.
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 437 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 31 mm
'...as compelling as fiction, with the added fascination of being essentially true' - The Sunday Times
'Vivid... surprisingly uplifting. A thoughtful, elegant book. ... it is often as thrilling as a detective novel. And sometimes it is moving: the last chapter had this reviewer in tears.' - Thomas Grant, QC, The Times
'A wonderful book from a vivid new talent. Revealing, moving, funny, sad, uplifting and beautifully written, with the observational skills of Alan Bennett and the heart of Charles Dickens. Every chapter is an elegantly constructed short story complete with plot twists that alternately deliver a knife to the guts or a glimmer of hope that makes you think humanity has a chance.' - Tim Shipman
I loved this book. It made my heart sing. Written by a woman in the law with compassion, wit and legal know-how, these true life courtroom stories tell it like it is. All life is there, showing the importance to justice of lawyers who understand the human condition, Brava, Sarah Langford.' -- Helena Kennedy QC
'The wig comes off. More than just a cracking collection of courtroom short-stories -Langford bares her soul.' - Matthew Parris
'In Your Defence is an anthology of beautifully rendered stories of legal practice, each striking at the beating heart of our justice system. The storytelling is compelling, reading like page-turning fiction, but speaking in every chapter to fundamental truths about the meaning of justice for those trapped in the wheels of our criminal and family courts. Sarah Langford breathes vibrancy and compassion into the dusty tomes of the law, capturing and exposing the raw humanity lying beneath the system, and offering a necessary reminder of the impact of the law on those whose lives are chartered by its whims.' - The Secret Barrister
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Langford's reflections on past cases and the law are a must read. She herself is a beautiful writer, painting a detailed picture of her clients and mechanisms of our legal system. I found it surprisingly touching... More
Thank you to Transworld books for the opportunity to both meet Sarah and get an early copy last month!
I sat down yesterday with the intention of just reading the first case in the book but before long I had read all... More
What surprised me about this book is the way Langford manages to create a face to the cases we often hear about in the news. I found myself thinking one way at the beginning of a chapter, and by the end feeing annoyed... More
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