Review: The Secret Barrister

by @edent | #

The Secret Barrister

An anonymous figure in a wig.
One day you or someone you love will almost certainly appear in a criminal courtroom. You might be a juror, a victim, a witness or – perhaps through no fault of your own – a defendant. Whatever your role, you’d expect a fair trial. I want to share some stories from my daily life to show you how the system is broken, who broke it and why we should start caring before it’s too late.

I love the blog by The Secret Barrister - it does an excellent job cutting through the tabloid outrage to get to the (often boring) truth behind the headline. And yet, I found this book curiously flat.

Much like Adam Kay's book - This Is Going To Hurt - it's mostly a professional whinge about how hard the job is.

And, similar to Dr Kay's book, it's mostly a series of well-worn anecdotes and gripes designed to depress and outrage the reader.

And... that's fine... I guess. Yes, the medical and legal worlds are over-worked and under-resourced. And, yes, crappy life-changing stuff happens a hundred times a day. But, no, being exhausted and under-paid in a stressful job isn't a unique experience - no matter how important the work.

I'm doing this book a disservice. It does an admirable job of stepping a neophyte through the court process. And, as someone with a rubbish magistrates' experience, I appreciate their expert analysis of its deficiencies.

It expertly skewers the initiatives which have left parts of the court system overloaded. And it passionately makes the case for reform.

Well worth reading - but only if you have a stiff drink nearby.

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