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As a non legal bod I found this brilliantly written expos of the crisis in UK criminal justice totally compelling The author develops a conversational style which means an easier read in some of the drier sections, however there aren t many of those Every single person in this country should care about how our criminal justice system works, or as is currently the case, just doesn t The chapter on wrongful convictions and how this government has passed legislation which has effectively ensured that receiving state compensation for wrongful conviction is well nigh impossible, shocked me to the core Perhaps the fall out from the Windrush scandal allied to the spate of non disclosure dropped cases will empower those within the system to group together and get a few worthy journalists involved to create an unstoppable momentum for change, for that is what is needed A fantastic book. The author here is a practising barrister who hits many bulls eyes in his her impassioned tirade about the many deficiencies of the criminal justice system in this country S he identifies a depressing litany of extremely disturbing problems that have served to undermine the search for justice Many of these are the direct result of the iniquitous austerity policies of government.The Secret Barrister is packed with information and detail and a forceful argument is sustained throughout the book If this leads to a good deal of ranting, it is because the author feels genuine anger and passion about the problems I must confess, however, that I was put off by the author s forced humour and his her fondness for flippant colloquialisms S he also seems unable to decide whether the book is intended as a serious contribution to the criminal justice literature, a taster for first year law students or a pot boiler for popular consumption Though somewhat idiosyncratic, The Secret Barrister is nonetheless firmly based on the author s own experience of working in the criminal courts and on his her knowledge of the academic writing and research on the subject. An outstanding book that should be required reading for lawyers and non lawyers, alike If you think the issues raised don t matter to you, you re mistaken The book portrays the problems in the criminal justice system with clarity and often gallows humour An engrossing read. This is a shocking book and a must read A lot of the criticism arises from the deliberate policies of the most recent two governments to undermine the system by starving it of resources and killing off legal aid, but the problem goes back a long way and this is not ignored It includes an excellent history of the English criminal law system, much of which was news to me The vast bulk of trials are conducted by untrained amateurs in the Magistrates Courts It may be cheap but it is not cheerful I suspect it was even worse in the past but was cheerfully overlooked as those with political power and clout were rarely negatively affected by it I would have thought that most of the criticism clearly explained here would offend people from across the political spectrum, but it seems that this is not the case There is a huge anti justice lobby, recently concentrated in the Conservative and Liberal parties Despite the trenchant criticism intended not only to expose the faults of the system but also to ram home how important it is to society as a whole, I m not optimistic that anything will change If it does change this book will have been one of the catalysts. The Sunday Times Best SellerI 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 GonorrhoeaWelcome 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 Years Whom 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 Firsthand 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 PLEASE NOTE When You Purchase This Title, The Accompanying Reference Material Will Be Available In Your Library Section Along With The Audio On Our Desktop Site The Secret Barrister has produced a magnificent polemic, in turns heartbreaking, enraging, fascinating and uplifting This should be required reading for anyone in government, and anyone planning to interview Chris Grayling. Entertaining, laugh out loud funny, occasionally sweary, but always compelling, this book shows how the underbelly of our dilapidated criminal court system puts the Jeremy Kyle Show firmly at the glamourous end of the spectrum.It leaves no doubt that the age of fat cats is well and truly over for our new intake of struggling junior barristers who have to navigate a level of complete chaos in our courts that exploits their goodwill and sense of moral duty while running on an empty tank.Worst of all, it is we, the innocent, who are paying the price of a woefully underfunded public legal system So few of us now qualify for Legal Aid that if you are innocently acquitted from false accusations, you will be the one left with no apology and no refund just a lifetime mortgage repaying 100K plus legal fees defending a case you were ultimately blameless for.It also highlights the differences and advantages of seeking the truth through our seemingly contentious yet potentially rigorous adversarial system over a potentially flawed continental inquisitorial approach.An excellent, wide ranging and funny book that should make us just as concerned about this as the dismantling of the NHS.