The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
Winner of the Books are My Bag Non-Fiction Award
Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year
Shortlisted for Specsavers Non-Fiction Book of the Year
'Eye-opening, damning and hilarious' Tim Shipman, author of All Out War and Fall Out
“I’m a barrister, a job which requires the skills of a social worker, relationship counsellor, arm-twister, h
That we have a crisis of funding in the law should surprise nobody, but perhaps the law suffers for attention in comparison to the NHS because we're more likely to have personal experiences of one than the other. Apart from cases sexy enough for media attention, the day to day running of the law might as well be in the ...more
This is such a book.
If you have any interest in the English criminal justice system - and if you live in England and Wales, you should - then this book will be eye-opening, shocking and thought-provoking. A ...more
Fast forward thirty-five years to ...more
This reaction stems from one unavoidable aspect of this book: the unrelenting snobbery of the Secret Barrister, which often stands in direct opposition to the liberal values they try to extoll. Almost every defendant they speak of ...more
This book opens with some outline information about the author, the book and the criminal justice system. Written by an anonymous barrister it considers of the subject of justice over time and across countries. It also looks at the general strengths and weaknesses of the English justice system and ...more
Written like a barrister writes . . . and i don't mean that in a good way
Written by an (understandably) anonymous barrister, The Secret Barrister is an account from the inside of the realities of the English and Welsh legal system. It is interesting and very clear about how we came to have the current system, its undoubted strengths, its true aims and the terrible mess which so often pre ...more
I accept (by reason of my profession) I’m perhaps not the target reader, so my opinion should be weighed in that way, but I found the substance of the book occasionally discursive and unnecessarily prolonged. However, those same aspects may well be what makes this book appealing to a reader who is entirely unfamiliar with the book’s subjects.
Law can be a dry subject, as the author acknowledges here. I wouldn’t describe th ...more
So surely 5 stars? Well, yes, but unfortunately the writing is way too dense and could have done with a good edit.
There's an enormous irony in the author bemoaning judges who can't get over their words in comprehensible English, when you examine the overly-wordy prose of this book.
Granted, the legal system and ...more
You, like I, might subconsciously think the criminal justice system is not really anything to concern 'people like us'. You won't feel that way after you've read this book.
The author, whoever he or she may be, makes some excellent points about the state of the criminal justice system (CJS) in England and Wales. But, my goodness, what a tortuous way to make his case. Clearly, he has not fully absorbed one of the greatest lessons of advocacy: make your point and q ...more
The Secret Barrister has carr ...more
I was educated and entertained in equal measure, particularly in the middle section of the book. It taught me plenty about the cruel, populist political agendas and savage government cutbacks shaping our legal system – and the public nonchalance that is letting justice slip away – and a little about the legal system itself. The profanity and passion th ...more
If there's a downside it's that actually reading through the book was fairly slow going. Although the (mystery) author did a great job explaining the legal terms and reminding the reader of the process throughout, let's be honest the best ...more
The author uses real human examples that he or she has dealt with to illustrate the way the system functions and the ways it is failing to function adequately. This was a smart move because it makes it much easier to put a human face on it.
At the end, Secret Barrister makes a good comparison with the NHS as a system we ...more
The book does highlight the power of bad political management of the judicial system, emphasising the effects that years of cuts have inflicted on the system.
I would have liked to have read more scenarios of real life cases where bad political or judicial process hav ...more
I am not a big lefty, politically I'm much more inclined to a small state, but I truly believe that a r ...more
For the purpose of this review I will call the author SB whom, I will also assume ...more