The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's

The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's


The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken ❴Read❵ ➳ The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken Author The Secret Barrister – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk 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 YearEye opening, damning an THE SUNDAY TIMES Barrister: Stories eBook ☆ 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 YearEye 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, hostage The Secret PDF/EPUB or 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 gonorrhoeaWelcome to the world of the Secret Barrister These are the stories of life inside the courtroom They are sometimes funny, often moving and Secret Barrister: Stories PDF/EPUB ¶ ultimately life changingHow 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 Barrister wants to show you what it s really like and why it really matters.

    Load results Apple Footer Apple Support 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 Barrister wants to show you what it s really like and why it really matters."/>
  • Kindle Edition
  • 384 pages
  • The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken
  • The Secret Barrister
  • 03 April 2018

About the Author: The Secret Barrister

The author, writing Barrister: Stories eBook ☆ under the pseudonym of The Secret Barrister, is a junior barrister practising criminal law before the courts of England and Wales The Secret Barrister is also a blogger who in and was named Independent Blogger of the Year at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards As of the book s publication date in March the author had a The Secret PDF/EPUB or substantial following on Twitter of nearly ,.



10 thoughts on “The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken

  1. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    The British have never recovered from being the foremost empire in the world, the most innovative of societies, the leaders of intellectual thought, the most just and fair Because now, it s anything but.The Secret Barrister is polemic against the system of government that pays lip service to victims of crime or had their civil rights infringed upon, but no money to defend them or put right the wrongs inflicted on them Every government cuts the money paid to solicitors office and barristers The British have never recovered from being the foremost empire in the world, the most innovative of societies, the leaders of intellectual thought, the most just and fair Because now, it s anything but.The Secret Barrister is polemic against the system of government that pays lip service to victims of crime or had their civil rights infringed upon, but no money to defend them or put right the wrongs inflicted on them Every government cuts the money paid to solicitors office and barristers court , and every government makes the qualification for legal aid harder and harder to get so that only the extremely rich and the extremely poor can now count on getting a defence in a civil or criminal court It is the police who bring criminal cases to court and it is as if their honesty in the evidence they present and the certainty that they are presenting all the evidence, is a given In reality of course, it s often expediency that leads the police to charge someone of a crime and they will definitely withhold evidence that is prejudicial to their own case My father was a magistrate This is a judge drawn from the population who is usually middle class, pays their taxes and does voluntary work, but not necessarily so, they could also be lords or working class They get about 18 hours legal instruction, sit on a bench of three and are guided by a law clerk who is a fully qualified solicitor The author does not think much of this system I do, it is only in the lowest court and it is being judged by your peers, as it should be My father never trusted the word of the police without corroborating evidence He said they lie as much as anyone else, perhapssince thecases they clear up, thethey look efficient and get promotion Even if the person wasn t guilty At this level of court, people generally represent themselves or, if the offence is imprisonable, they are entitled to the service of the Duty Solicitor At every other level of court, they have to employ a lawyer who will instruct a barrister to appear for them What went wrong Governments decide that a penny off the tax on beer will appeal tovoters than the same penny sent to the criminal justice system essentially And that is what the book is about together with examples of miscarriages of justice or not that needed but didn t get proper legal representation because they didn t qualify for legal aid or got inadequate representation because of lack of funds at the original hearings, later court proceedings or appeals.It s not going to get any better until the British generally stop thinking of themselves as anything but a small island with not very much influence in the world and whose glorious past is just that The future of justice is a willingness to put politics aside and look at how to fix a broken system that if it worked better, would benefit us all I m British and have nationality in a West Indian island as well It s no better here and for the same reasons Reviewed 12 Dec 2019

  2. Simon Bradshaw Simon Bradshaw says:

    I often recommend books I sometimes say that a book is a must read But there are few books that make me want to go up to everyone I know and tell them that I actually, really mean that they must read it, in the sense that it is genuinely important that they take in what the author says.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 I often recommend books I sometimes say that a book is a must read But there are few books that make me want to go up to everyone I know and tell them that I actually, really mean that they must read it, in the sense that it is genuinely important that they take in what the author says.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 few years ago before focussing on civil and family law I briefly practised criminal law in the Magistrates and Crown Courts, including a brief stint prosecuting for the CPS It was bad then It is worse now Little in this book is a surprise to me, because many of my colleagues are criminal defence and prosecution lawyers, but their stories of pitiful pay yes, tabloid journalism lies about this , lack of resources to prepare cases, and overloaded courts don t reach a wider audience The author of this book a respected legal blogger who, for good reasons, remains anonymous has done the legal profession and the country as a whole a vast service by so clearly setting out such issues This book is engagingly and clearly written, but it is not an easy read If you do not reach the end wanting to scream out loud HOW CAN WE PUT UP WITH THIS then I can only conclude that you are a government minister or a tabloid editor both types of people seemingly hell bent on the destruction of our justice system.And if you think but this won t affect me , then please explain your secret to ensuring that you are never the victim of crime, will never commit a crime of negligence, or never be in the wrong place at the wrong time such that you face a wrongful allegation

  3. Emma Emma says:

    As a call for awareness, this is loud enough to be heard, but it also reminds us that outside the extraordinary cases, so much of the nitty gritty of law can be unimaginably dull 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 relikely 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 As a call for awareness, this is loud enough to be heard, but it also reminds us that outside the extraordinary cases, so much of the nitty gritty of law can be unimaginably dull 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 relikely 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 dark who cares if anyone involved in the criminal justice system isn t getting what they need They re all criminals anyway, right The Secret Barrister s answer is that everyone should care, innocent people are being failed as much as the guilty The author s urgent appeal for the wider public to understand how the law works, and what s going wrong, so we can all be part of fixing it, is genuine and heart felt please look at this, you never know when you may be dragged into this system, or may really need it When you do, do you want it to be broken Unlike the Twitter feed, however, part of this are so dry that I had to repeatedly force myself to pick it up again There are interesting and funny parts, fascinating and heard hitting parts, but it s a hard read As much as it gets compared to This Is Going to Hurt Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, it s not that Yes, they both aim to illuminate working practices in overloaded systems and the individuals who struggle to work within them, but this is a much denser,historical and statistical read with added commentary and fewer laughs That s not to say it s not as important, but people might need to manage their expectations ARC via Netgalley

  4. Karen Ross Karen Ross says:

    Fails to live up to the hype Too much history Insufficiently anecdotal The sexy title and implicit cashing in on the Secret Footballer franchise promised a different kind of book and the populist marketing leads to disappointment.Written like a barrister writesand i don t mean that in a good way

  5. James James says:

    Just prior to the 1983 General Election, then Labour Leader Neil Kinnock, delivered what must rank as one of the most poignant speeches ever made in British politics In what might be called his warning speech , he warned of what would happen should Margaret Thatcher win To paraphrase, he warned people not to get old, not to be young, not to get sick, not to do myriad other things for the state wouldn t be there to help them, nay, would actively do them harm.Fast forward thirty five years to Just prior to the 1983 General Election, then Labour Leader Neil Kinnock, delivered what must rank as one of the most poignant speeches ever made in British politics In what might be called his warning speech , he warned of what would happen should Margaret Thatcher win To paraphrase, he warned people not to get old, not to be young, not to get sick, not to do myriad other things for the state wouldn t be there to help them, nay, would actively do them harm.Fast forward thirty five years to the age of austerity and Kinnock s fears appear warranted, albeit delayed somewhat Depressingly, however, what he got wrong was the identification of a single bogeyman in this case bogeywoman in the shape of Margaret Thatcher Rather, successive governments, of all stripes, have done in our public services.The Secret Barrister Stories of the Law and How It s Broken is at heart a forensic examination of the UK s broken Criminal Justice System, but its lessons could easily be broadened and in many ways, it addresses issues that plague our public servicesgenerally It s a sad tale of starved finances, neglect and political short termism.The Criminal Justice System sits in an unenviable position We all know we might need the NHS, we all can envisage our stake in schools and education, but the Criminal Justice System Surely, the people who come into contact with that are just criminals, bad people who deserve everything they get This assumption, fed by poor tabloid journalism peddling myths and half truths, has enabled governments to cut the system to the bone The result Guilty people going free and innocents convicted In chapter after chapter, The Secret Barrister outlines how the system is failing all those who come into its orbit victims, witnesses, defendants Many are the poorest and most vulnerable in our society The author wonders why we, as a nation, have allowed this dire situation to come to pass, and though the answer lies in part in the demonization of those who are characterised as coming before the courts the criminals, the drug addicts there s another reason, too As with the cuts to public servicesbroadly, a tragic fact is that the middle classes who need the services least are those most likely to vote Middle income voters can afford to pay to jump an NHS waiting list, they can shell out for a private tutor for their children, they never imagine they ll be arrested and need a lawyer The poor, who rely on public services most, tend not to swing elections.But with the Criminal Justice System there s a sting in the tail In recent political discourse there s been talk of the squeezed middle , it s a phrase I intrinsically dislike, for the poor have always been hit hardest, but with criminal justice, under certain circumstances, it can actually ring true Cuts to who qualifies for legal aid mean those on middle incomes, should they face trial, might have to spend tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal representation Should they be found innocent, the state doesn t reimburse a penny This is just one example of the system failing and there are many, manyThe axing of the Forensic Science Service a world renowned and respected leader in the field mean police forces now put out work to tender In the current climate, this means the cheapest The result Some providers are good, some less so many are unaccredited and the fear is that some are cowboy outfits Indeed, already there have been scandals in one recent case, thousands of drug tests were found to be fatally flawed, contaminated and thus discounted cases were thrown out of court, convictions potentially overturned.Then there are the payments received by barristers and solicitors The rates they receive, the hours they can charge, the work they can bill for, all have been cut The result Professionals leaving their jobs, those that remain increasingly overworked In such circumstances, can you rely on your lawyer going the extra mile, in effect working for free on your case That s if, as cited above, you qualify for legal aid at all.I m lucky to know a number of police officers in my private life One officer, an armed officer in the Met, warned me with a weary sigh last year that cuts have consequences, a mantra repeated regularly by the Police Federation I used to think this special pleading, assume that it was just police officers looking for a pay rise Now I know better Like many a jobbing junior barrister, The Secret Barrister both prosecutes and defends and is adamant that the system fails both Criminals ARE walking free due to the mayhem cuts have strewn through the police, the Crown Prosecution System, the courts Equally, innocent defendants are almost certainly being found guilty, perhaps even going to prison All this is an inalienable truth, known to all who work in the system It s difficult to do this book justice in a review really anyone reading this should beg, borrow, buy a copy and read it I challenge you not to come away shocked to the core by just how bad things are For this title really does explain what the Police Federation have warned for so long cuts really do have consequences So, in conclusion things can t go on like this, the system has to change If they don t, I fear I have no choice but to paraphrase Neil Kinnock Don t be a victim of crime, don t be a perpetrator of crime don t be accused of a crime you didn t commit don t be a witness In fact, if you can humanly help it, don t have anything to do with the Criminal Justice System whatsoever

  6. Sophie Castledine-Dack Sophie Castledine-Dack says:

    I had started to get worried that this book would never end, and it was only through stubborn principle that I never dnf books that I completed it at all.I had very high hopes for it I thought it would be the legal equivalent of This is going to hurt which I found insightful, engaging and interesting Unfortunately, TSB was none of these things to me, and I recognise that, in making this statement, I exemplify the author s hypothesis that citizen apathy towards the failings of the justice sy I had started to get worried that this book would never end, and it was only through stubborn principle that I never dnf books that I completed it at all.I had very high hopes for it I thought it would be the legal equivalent of This is going to hurt which I found insightful, engaging and interesting Unfortunately, TSB was none of these things to me, and I recognise that, in making this statement, I exemplify the author s hypothesis that citizen apathy towards the failings of the justice system is rampant.It would not be fair to say that I have not come away from this book with a greater understanding of how our legal system works and a stark appreciation of how it s fundamental flaws fail people all the time It is also true that I was, at various points, shocked, terrified and outraged to hear about the ways in which this happens and how inaccessible legal representation can be.My dislike of the book is not rooted in a preference for ignorance, but rather it lies in the fact that this book was boring It was not, as I had expected and hoped, an exploration of the writers previous cases which were woven together to paint the overarching picture of the state of our legal system today Rather, it was a theoretical analysis with few tangible examples Though in concept it is similar to Adam Kay s medical equivalent, it lacks the human feel and it didn t compel me to read as that did.This may be, as the author laments, because the law is simply boring I am cautious about attributing a star rating to this because my opinion of it does not skew my broader perception that it is an extremely important book that should be as widely read as possible I share in the author s concern about the issues raised If I were reading for academic interest then I think that my opinion would have been different, but this has been pitched as a recreational read and I cannot bring myself to rate it highly in this context

  7. G L G L says:

    Feel like this book wanted to be the This is Going to Hurt for the law but wasn t quite engaging or funny enough was interesting but often over complicated and the explanations were sometimes convoluted.

  8. Nigel Nigel says:

    Briefly Slightly mixed feelings on this one Looking at the subtitle there really aren t many stories of the law and it majors on how the law is broken Dry in places, fascinating in others.In fullThis 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 Briefly Slightly mixed feelings on this one Looking at the subtitle there really aren t many stories of the law and it majors on how the law is broken Dry in places, fascinating in others.In fullThis 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 others In fairness I found the opening chapters somewhat dry for a person in the street reader.However as I read on I found that my interest and views on the book altered The chapters are well laid out and looks at the legal process from Magistrates Courts through Bail and Remand to Trial and Sentencing During the course of this it also looks at the Crown Prosecution Service CPS , Victims of the law and the myth of Legal Aid I confess once the topic of victims came up the book became faralive and real to me This felt like something I could understand From there on I did find the book both interesting and revealing Some aspects I was already aware of through the news for example While the changes to Legal Aid highlighted by the author were introduced without fuss they were reported on Equally there has been considerable press interest in the CPS of late so that the issues highlighted there were not that surprising although rather horrifying ,There is a sense in which this can feel like a whinge about all that is wrong with the system Such things tend to be quite headline grabbing and raise their heads and the profile of the problem sometimes from time to time The NHS, the police, the prison system and others tend to feature usually however I don t think I have come across one relating to the law in a readable way before That makes this book a little unusual at least Written by an apparent insider it has fairly extensive and valid references to back up some of the positions as far as I could tell.Ultimately I m not certain I know who this is aimed at I think the subtitle of the book Stories of the Law and How It s Broken is slightly misleading There are stories of cases handled by the author however there are relatively few of them They are used to illustrate the concepts in the chapters rather than being simply stories I notice some reviewers consider this book hilarious I did smile from time to time but littlethan that.I m not quite sure who this aimed at is it trying to get a message over to someone Is it simply trying to be dramatic It certainly offers valid evidence into the idea that there is much wrong with the justice system in England currently The author in his Closing Speech offers some thoughts on where improvements might be made Funding is obviously an issue as it is in many public services I fully agree with his point that the Law in its broadest sense should be taught to people at school the ignorance mine included at times does no service to the enhancement of the system I also appreciated his point about Justice being done, being seen to be done and being able to be understood The lack of clarity consistency and plain common sense in areas such as sentencing simply makes bad news headlines inevitable There are many important issues in this book It deserves to be widely read and reflected on I enjoyed reading it.Note I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttp viewson.org.uk non fiction sec

  9. Stephen Bentley Stephen Bentley says:

    This is the most over hyped book ever I looked forward to reading it but was initially put off by the original high price of the Kindle version The price dropped to just over 4 I wish I hadn t bothered.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 This is the most over hyped book ever I looked forward to reading it but was initially put off by the original high price of the Kindle version The price dropped to just over 4 I wish I hadn t bothered.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 quickly move on.He then has the temerity to criticise judgments handed down by the appellate courts complaining that judges often use one hundred words when one would do.This book is not an easy read It slike a hysterical rant I used to read his blog with interest and at times this book seemed to beblog like than a well structured, well reasoned book.He takes time out to praise the work of defence solicitors and appears to give the impression they all, except for the Keres Co firms, are the pillar of the whole system According to him, they prepare wonderful briefs, adequate instructions to counsel, check unused material, provide a proof of evidence what the accused is likely to say in his defence , so on and so forth In your dreams And not in my experience of fourteen years at the Criminal Bar.He tells of the problems within the CPS All undoubtedly true Yet, when he was prosecuting a case that clearly was not in the public interest to continue to trial, he hid behind the trial judge who threatened to summon the CPS lawyer to his court to explain himself Sorry, but that was an utter lack of cojones on the part of our secret barrister Ifprosecuting barristers stopped paying lip service to CPS lawyers and pointed out to them that it s a criminal justice system, and not about statistics, it would improve matters That s the way it used to be.He does mention the unethical practice of some barristers divvying up their legal aid fees with dodgy solicitors but makes no mention that it is not uncommon for unethical barristers paying their clerks for work.He adequately and forcefully points out the low remuneration of junior barristers That in itself is a complete disgrace.I do hope this book serves as a reality check for any young aspiring Rumpole The message is clear don t bother The latter part of this book is a plea to outsiders as to why they should care about the CJS He says, it could happen to you In other words being falsely or mistakenly accused of serious crime I have some news for the author people don t care They think it will never happen to them The same reason many don t bother with life insurance until it s too late.Finally, I feel sorry for the lay clients of barristers like this They the barristers are not part of the real world They don t speak the same language as the rest of us How he manages effective communication with the Kyles of the world is beyond my ken.I had the distinct impression of the author as coming straight from school, into university, Bar School, pupillage then into practice A truly cloistered existence

  10. Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks) Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks) says:

    I m in the minority here amongst the GR readers for The Secret Barrister DNF after 196 pages It was very slow with far too much backstory to digest.

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10 thoughts on “The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken

  1. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    The British have never recovered from being the foremost empire in the world, the most innovative of societies, the leaders of intellectual thought, the most just and fair Because now, it s anything but.The Secret Barrister is polemic against the system of government that pays lip service to victims of crime or had their civil rights infringed upon, but no money to defend them or put right the wrongs inflicted on them Every government cuts the money paid to solicitors office and barristers The British have never recovered from being the foremost empire in the world, the most innovative of societies, the leaders of intellectual thought, the most just and fair Because now, it s anything but.The Secret Barrister is polemic against the system of government that pays lip service to victims of crime or had their civil rights infringed upon, but no money to defend them or put right the wrongs inflicted on them Every government cuts the money paid to solicitors office and barristers court , and every government makes the qualification for legal aid harder and harder to get so that only the extremely rich and the extremely poor can now count on getting a defence in a civil or criminal court It is the police who bring criminal cases to court and it is as if their honesty in the evidence they present and the certainty that they are presenting all the evidence, is a given In reality of course, it s often expediency that leads the police to charge someone of a crime and they will definitely withhold evidence that is prejudicial to their own case My father was a magistrate This is a judge drawn from the population who is usually middle class, pays their taxes and does voluntary work, but not necessarily so, they could also be lords or working class They get about 18 hours legal instruction, sit on a bench of three and are guided by a law clerk who is a fully qualified solicitor The author does not think much of this system I do, it is only in the lowest court and it is being judged by your peers, as it should be My father never trusted the word of the police without corroborating evidence He said they lie as much as anyone else, perhapssince thecases they clear up, thethey look efficient and get promotion Even if the person wasn t guilty At this level of court, people generally represent themselves or, if the offence is imprisonable, they are entitled to the service of the Duty Solicitor At every other level of court, they have to employ a lawyer who will instruct a barrister to appear for them What went wrong Governments decide that a penny off the tax on beer will appeal tovoters than the same penny sent to the criminal justice system essentially And that is what the book is about together with examples of miscarriages of justice or not that needed but didn t get proper legal representation because they didn t qualify for legal aid or got inadequate representation because of lack of funds at the original hearings, later court proceedings or appeals.It s not going to get any better until the British generally stop thinking of themselves as anything but a small island with not very much influence in the world and whose glorious past is just that The future of justice is a willingness to put politics aside and look at how to fix a broken system that if it worked better, would benefit us all I m British and have nationality in a West Indian island as well It s no better here and for the same reasons Reviewed 12 Dec 2019

  2. Simon Bradshaw Simon Bradshaw says:

    I often recommend books I sometimes say that a book is a must read But there are few books that make me want to go up to everyone I know and tell them that I actually, really mean that they must read it, in the sense that it is genuinely important that they take in what the author says.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 I often recommend books I sometimes say that a book is a must read But there are few books that make me want to go up to everyone I know and tell them that I actually, really mean that they must read it, in the sense that it is genuinely important that they take in what the author says.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 few years ago before focussing on civil and family law I briefly practised criminal law in the Magistrates and Crown Courts, including a brief stint prosecuting for the CPS It was bad then It is worse now Little in this book is a surprise to me, because many of my colleagues are criminal defence and prosecution lawyers, but their stories of pitiful pay yes, tabloid journalism lies about this , lack of resources to prepare cases, and overloaded courts don t reach a wider audience The author of this book a respected legal blogger who, for good reasons, remains anonymous has done the legal profession and the country as a whole a vast service by so clearly setting out such issues This book is engagingly and clearly written, but it is not an easy read If you do not reach the end wanting to scream out loud HOW CAN WE PUT UP WITH THIS then I can only conclude that you are a government minister or a tabloid editor both types of people seemingly hell bent on the destruction of our justice system.And if you think but this won t affect me , then please explain your secret to ensuring that you are never the victim of crime, will never commit a crime of negligence, or never be in the wrong place at the wrong time such that you face a wrongful allegation

  3. Emma Emma says:

    As a call for awareness, this is loud enough to be heard, but it also reminds us that outside the extraordinary cases, so much of the nitty gritty of law can be unimaginably dull 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 relikely 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 As a call for awareness, this is loud enough to be heard, but it also reminds us that outside the extraordinary cases, so much of the nitty gritty of law can be unimaginably dull 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 relikely 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 dark who cares if anyone involved in the criminal justice system isn t getting what they need They re all criminals anyway, right The Secret Barrister s answer is that everyone should care, innocent people are being failed as much as the guilty The author s urgent appeal for the wider public to understand how the law works, and what s going wrong, so we can all be part of fixing it, is genuine and heart felt please look at this, you never know when you may be dragged into this system, or may really need it When you do, do you want it to be broken Unlike the Twitter feed, however, part of this are so dry that I had to repeatedly force myself to pick it up again There are interesting and funny parts, fascinating and heard hitting parts, but it s a hard read As much as it gets compared to This Is Going to Hurt Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, it s not that Yes, they both aim to illuminate working practices in overloaded systems and the individuals who struggle to work within them, but this is a much denser,historical and statistical read with added commentary and fewer laughs That s not to say it s not as important, but people might need to manage their expectations ARC via Netgalley

  4. Karen Ross Karen Ross says:

    Fails to live up to the hype Too much history Insufficiently anecdotal The sexy title and implicit cashing in on the Secret Footballer franchise promised a different kind of book and the populist marketing leads to disappointment.Written like a barrister writesand i don t mean that in a good way

  5. James James says:

    Just prior to the 1983 General Election, then Labour Leader Neil Kinnock, delivered what must rank as one of the most poignant speeches ever made in British politics In what might be called his warning speech , he warned of what would happen should Margaret Thatcher win To paraphrase, he warned people not to get old, not to be young, not to get sick, not to do myriad other things for the state wouldn t be there to help them, nay, would actively do them harm.Fast forward thirty five years to Just prior to the 1983 General Election, then Labour Leader Neil Kinnock, delivered what must rank as one of the most poignant speeches ever made in British politics In what might be called his warning speech , he warned of what would happen should Margaret Thatcher win To paraphrase, he warned people not to get old, not to be young, not to get sick, not to do myriad other things for the state wouldn t be there to help them, nay, would actively do them harm.Fast forward thirty five years to the age of austerity and Kinnock s fears appear warranted, albeit delayed somewhat Depressingly, however, what he got wrong was the identification of a single bogeyman in this case bogeywoman in the shape of Margaret Thatcher Rather, successive governments, of all stripes, have done in our public services.The Secret Barrister Stories of the Law and How It s Broken is at heart a forensic examination of the UK s broken Criminal Justice System, but its lessons could easily be broadened and in many ways, it addresses issues that plague our public servicesgenerally It s a sad tale of starved finances, neglect and political short termism.The Criminal Justice System sits in an unenviable position We all know we might need the NHS, we all can envisage our stake in schools and education, but the Criminal Justice System Surely, the people who come into contact with that are just criminals, bad people who deserve everything they get This assumption, fed by poor tabloid journalism peddling myths and half truths, has enabled governments to cut the system to the bone The result Guilty people going free and innocents convicted In chapter after chapter, The Secret Barrister outlines how the system is failing all those who come into its orbit victims, witnesses, defendants Many are the poorest and most vulnerable in our society The author wonders why we, as a nation, have allowed this dire situation to come to pass, and though the answer lies in part in the demonization of those who are characterised as coming before the courts the criminals, the drug addicts there s another reason, too As with the cuts to public servicesbroadly, a tragic fact is that the middle classes who need the services least are those most likely to vote Middle income voters can afford to pay to jump an NHS waiting list, they can shell out for a private tutor for their children, they never imagine they ll be arrested and need a lawyer The poor, who rely on public services most, tend not to swing elections.But with the Criminal Justice System there s a sting in the tail In recent political discourse there s been talk of the squeezed middle , it s a phrase I intrinsically dislike, for the poor have always been hit hardest, but with criminal justice, under certain circumstances, it can actually ring true Cuts to who qualifies for legal aid mean those on middle incomes, should they face trial, might have to spend tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal representation Should they be found innocent, the state doesn t reimburse a penny This is just one example of the system failing and there are many, manyThe axing of the Forensic Science Service a world renowned and respected leader in the field mean police forces now put out work to tender In the current climate, this means the cheapest The result Some providers are good, some less so many are unaccredited and the fear is that some are cowboy outfits Indeed, already there have been scandals in one recent case, thousands of drug tests were found to be fatally flawed, contaminated and thus discounted cases were thrown out of court, convictions potentially overturned.Then there are the payments received by barristers and solicitors The rates they receive, the hours they can charge, the work they can bill for, all have been cut The result Professionals leaving their jobs, those that remain increasingly overworked In such circumstances, can you rely on your lawyer going the extra mile, in effect working for free on your case That s if, as cited above, you qualify for legal aid at all.I m lucky to know a number of police officers in my private life One officer, an armed officer in the Met, warned me with a weary sigh last year that cuts have consequences, a mantra repeated regularly by the Police Federation I used to think this special pleading, assume that it was just police officers looking for a pay rise Now I know better Like many a jobbing junior barrister, The Secret Barrister both prosecutes and defends and is adamant that the system fails both Criminals ARE walking free due to the mayhem cuts have strewn through the police, the Crown Prosecution System, the courts Equally, innocent defendants are almost certainly being found guilty, perhaps even going to prison All this is an inalienable truth, known to all who work in the system It s difficult to do this book justice in a review really anyone reading this should beg, borrow, buy a copy and read it I challenge you not to come away shocked to the core by just how bad things are For this title really does explain what the Police Federation have warned for so long cuts really do have consequences So, in conclusion things can t go on like this, the system has to change If they don t, I fear I have no choice but to paraphrase Neil Kinnock Don t be a victim of crime, don t be a perpetrator of crime don t be accused of a crime you didn t commit don t be a witness In fact, if you can humanly help it, don t have anything to do with the Criminal Justice System whatsoever

  6. Sophie Castledine-Dack Sophie Castledine-Dack says:

    I had started to get worried that this book would never end, and it was only through stubborn principle that I never dnf books that I completed it at all.I had very high hopes for it I thought it would be the legal equivalent of This is going to hurt which I found insightful, engaging and interesting Unfortunately, TSB was none of these things to me, and I recognise that, in making this statement, I exemplify the author s hypothesis that citizen apathy towards the failings of the justice sy I had started to get worried that this book would never end, and it was only through stubborn principle that I never dnf books that I completed it at all.I had very high hopes for it I thought it would be the legal equivalent of This is going to hurt which I found insightful, engaging and interesting Unfortunately, TSB was none of these things to me, and I recognise that, in making this statement, I exemplify the author s hypothesis that citizen apathy towards the failings of the justice system is rampant.It would not be fair to say that I have not come away from this book with a greater understanding of how our legal system works and a stark appreciation of how it s fundamental flaws fail people all the time It is also true that I was, at various points, shocked, terrified and outraged to hear about the ways in which this happens and how inaccessible legal representation can be.My dislike of the book is not rooted in a preference for ignorance, but rather it lies in the fact that this book was boring It was not, as I had expected and hoped, an exploration of the writers previous cases which were woven together to paint the overarching picture of the state of our legal system today Rather, it was a theoretical analysis with few tangible examples Though in concept it is similar to Adam Kay s medical equivalent, it lacks the human feel and it didn t compel me to read as that did.This may be, as the author laments, because the law is simply boring I am cautious about attributing a star rating to this because my opinion of it does not skew my broader perception that it is an extremely important book that should be as widely read as possible I share in the author s concern about the issues raised If I were reading for academic interest then I think that my opinion would have been different, but this has been pitched as a recreational read and I cannot bring myself to rate it highly in this context

  7. G L G L says:

    Feel like this book wanted to be the This is Going to Hurt for the law but wasn t quite engaging or funny enough was interesting but often over complicated and the explanations were sometimes convoluted.

  8. Nigel Nigel says:

    Briefly Slightly mixed feelings on this one Looking at the subtitle there really aren t many stories of the law and it majors on how the law is broken Dry in places, fascinating in others.In fullThis 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 Briefly Slightly mixed feelings on this one Looking at the subtitle there really aren t many stories of the law and it majors on how the law is broken Dry in places, fascinating in others.In fullThis 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 others In fairness I found the opening chapters somewhat dry for a person in the street reader.However as I read on I found that my interest and views on the book altered The chapters are well laid out and looks at the legal process from Magistrates Courts through Bail and Remand to Trial and Sentencing During the course of this it also looks at the Crown Prosecution Service CPS , Victims of the law and the myth of Legal Aid I confess once the topic of victims came up the book became faralive and real to me This felt like something I could understand From there on I did find the book both interesting and revealing Some aspects I was already aware of through the news for example While the changes to Legal Aid highlighted by the author were introduced without fuss they were reported on Equally there has been considerable press interest in the CPS of late so that the issues highlighted there were not that surprising although rather horrifying ,There is a sense in which this can feel like a whinge about all that is wrong with the system Such things tend to be quite headline grabbing and raise their heads and the profile of the problem sometimes from time to time The NHS, the police, the prison system and others tend to feature usually however I don t think I have come across one relating to the law in a readable way before That makes this book a little unusual at least Written by an apparent insider it has fairly extensive and valid references to back up some of the positions as far as I could tell.Ultimately I m not certain I know who this is aimed at I think the subtitle of the book Stories of the Law and How It s Broken is slightly misleading There are stories of cases handled by the author however there are relatively few of them They are used to illustrate the concepts in the chapters rather than being simply stories I notice some reviewers consider this book hilarious I did smile from time to time but littlethan that.I m not quite sure who this aimed at is it trying to get a message over to someone Is it simply trying to be dramatic It certainly offers valid evidence into the idea that there is much wrong with the justice system in England currently The author in his Closing Speech offers some thoughts on where improvements might be made Funding is obviously an issue as it is in many public services I fully agree with his point that the Law in its broadest sense should be taught to people at school the ignorance mine included at times does no service to the enhancement of the system I also appreciated his point about Justice being done, being seen to be done and being able to be understood The lack of clarity consistency and plain common sense in areas such as sentencing simply makes bad news headlines inevitable There are many important issues in this book It deserves to be widely read and reflected on I enjoyed reading it.Note I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttp viewson.org.uk non fiction sec

  9. Stephen Bentley Stephen Bentley says:

    This is the most over hyped book ever I looked forward to reading it but was initially put off by the original high price of the Kindle version The price dropped to just over 4 I wish I hadn t bothered.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 This is the most over hyped book ever I looked forward to reading it but was initially put off by the original high price of the Kindle version The price dropped to just over 4 I wish I hadn t bothered.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 quickly move on.He then has the temerity to criticise judgments handed down by the appellate courts complaining that judges often use one hundred words when one would do.This book is not an easy read It slike a hysterical rant I used to read his blog with interest and at times this book seemed to beblog like than a well structured, well reasoned book.He takes time out to praise the work of defence solicitors and appears to give the impression they all, except for the Keres Co firms, are the pillar of the whole system According to him, they prepare wonderful briefs, adequate instructions to counsel, check unused material, provide a proof of evidence what the accused is likely to say in his defence , so on and so forth In your dreams And not in my experience of fourteen years at the Criminal Bar.He tells of the problems within the CPS All undoubtedly true Yet, when he was prosecuting a case that clearly was not in the public interest to continue to trial, he hid behind the trial judge who threatened to summon the CPS lawyer to his court to explain himself Sorry, but that was an utter lack of cojones on the part of our secret barrister Ifprosecuting barristers stopped paying lip service to CPS lawyers and pointed out to them that it s a criminal justice system, and not about statistics, it would improve matters That s the way it used to be.He does mention the unethical practice of some barristers divvying up their legal aid fees with dodgy solicitors but makes no mention that it is not uncommon for unethical barristers paying their clerks for work.He adequately and forcefully points out the low remuneration of junior barristers That in itself is a complete disgrace.I do hope this book serves as a reality check for any young aspiring Rumpole The message is clear don t bother The latter part of this book is a plea to outsiders as to why they should care about the CJS He says, it could happen to you In other words being falsely or mistakenly accused of serious crime I have some news for the author people don t care They think it will never happen to them The same reason many don t bother with life insurance until it s too late.Finally, I feel sorry for the lay clients of barristers like this They the barristers are not part of the real world They don t speak the same language as the rest of us How he manages effective communication with the Kyles of the world is beyond my ken.I had the distinct impression of the author as coming straight from school, into university, Bar School, pupillage then into practice A truly cloistered existence

  10. Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks) Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks) says:

    I m in the minority here amongst the GR readers for The Secret Barrister DNF after 196 pages It was very slow with far too much backstory to digest.

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