The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken (Paperback)
  • The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken (Paperback)
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The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken (Paperback)

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Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 04/04/2019
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Waterstones Says

Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2018.  Doing for the law what Do No Harm did for medicine, this explosive exposé brilliantly uncovers the cracks in British justice’s legal crown.

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 funny, often moving and ultimately life-changing stories of life inside the courtroom. Welcome to the world of the Secret Barrister.

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.

The Secret Barrister does for criminal justice what Henry Marsh’s Do No Harm did for medicine, moving beyond the arcane jargon, televised drama and shaded mystery that cloaks the realities of the British legal system to get at the truth beneath. A tour de force of lived experience and knowledge, it reveals the hidden cracks in our once-formidable legal crown. The result is a powerful indictment of the British justice system that emerges as one of the year’s truly necessary releases. 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 Barrister wants to show you what it's really like and why it really matters.

"The Secret Barrister is a fiery, first-hand account of the human and fiscal costs of the criminal justice system in this country and the havoc it wreaks on individuals and communities; it should be required reading." – Richard Humphreys, Waterstones Biography Buyer

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509841141
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 273 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A vicious polemic, a helpful primer and a cringe -inducing account of one barrister's travails' - The Daily Telegraph

'...this entertaining book is delivered with great skill…at once a lament and a celebration' - The Times

'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 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

'Funny, angry, mordant, social satire, reform manifesto - The Secret Barrister offers them all in this legal tour de force. Told through often heart-rending stories of victims and victors in a game of legal roulette, a quest for decency and proper standards of legal service shines through the bleakness. If the Secret Barrister has her or his way, it might happen a bit more often. Read this book, hope and pray' - Andrew Adonis

'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.' - James O'Brien

'Stories of The Law and How It's Broken 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

'Dishes the dirt - or serves up a slice of reality - on what barristers do' - The Times

'Eye-opening, damning and hilarious' - Tim Shipman, author of All Out War and Fall Out

'This book takes the reader deep into our battered criminal justice system.' - The Times            

'Above all a plea to rescue a justice system that is utterly broken.' - The Guardian

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“Eye-opening”

This is a MUST read book, once I got started I just couldn't put it down, it's extremely eye-opening look of what really happens in our criminal courts.
A book that is extremely well written, it's funny... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 94

“Compelling and frightening- a must read!”

One of the most frightening books I've read in a long time, the Secret Barrister walks us through the history of our justice system (trial by ordeal, anyone?) and shows us the sorry state of our current legal... More

Hardback edition
2 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 52

“A Necessary Read”

The legal answer to "This is Going To Hurt", a funny and insightful look at our justice system. The writer is fair minded, but also blunt about the abuse and misuse of the system. A really, really good read.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 40

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