The Secret Barrister
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A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK
'The SB is a gifted writer. Words tumble out with extraordinary fluency . . . entertaining and instructive' The Times
From the NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR, a memoir full of hilarious, personal and surprising stories from their working life.
Just how do you become a barrister? Why do only 1 per cent of those who study law succeed in joining this mysteriously opaque profession? And why might a practising barrister come to feel the need to reveal the lies, secrets, failures and crises at the heart of this world of wigs and gowns?
Nothing But The Truth charts an outsider’s progress down the winding path towards practising at the Bar, taking in the sometimes absurd traditions of the Inns of Court, where every meal mandates a glass of port and a toast to the Queen, to the Hunger Games-type contest for pupillage, through the endlessly frustrating experience of being a junior barrister – as a creaking, ailing justice system begins to convince them that something has to change . . .
Full of hilarious, shocking and surprising stories, Nothing But The Truth tracks the Secret Barrister’s transformation from hang ‘em and flog ‘em, austerity-supporting twenty-something to campaigning, bestselling, reforming author whose writing in defence of the law is celebrated around the globe. It asks questions about what we understand by justice, and what it takes to change our minds. It also reveals the darker side of working in criminal law, and how the things our justice system gets wrong are not the things most people expect.
PRAISE FOR THE SECRET BARRISTER:
‘Dishes the dirt — or serves up a slice of reality — on what barristers do’ - The Times
‘An illuminating and timely insight into the legal system . . . fascinating’ - Sunday Express
‘Excellent . . . at once a vicious polemic, a helpful primer and a cringe-inducing account of one barrister’s travails’ - Daily Telegraph
The Sunday Times number one 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.
You may not wish to think about it, but 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’m a barrister. I work in the criminal justice system, and every day I see how fairness is not guaranteed. Too often the system fails those it is meant to protect. The innocent are wronged and the guilty allowed to walk free.
In The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken 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.
A Sunday Times top ten bestseller for twenty-four weeks.
‘Eye-opening, funny and horrifying’ – Observer
‘Everyone who has any interest in public life should read it’ – Daily Mail
THE TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'A powerful polemic' Sunday Times
'A compelling, eye-opening read' Daily Express
– Did an illegal immigrant avoid deportation because he had a cat?
– Is the law on the side of the burglar who enters your home?
– Are unelected judges ‘enemies of the people’?
Most of us think the law is only relevant to criminals, if we even think of it at all. But the law touches every area of our lives: from intimate family matters to the biggest issues in our society.
Our unfamiliarity is dangerous because it makes us vulnerable to media spin, political lies and the kind of misinformation that frequently comes from loud-mouthed amateurs and those with vested interests. This 'fake law' allows the powerful and the ignorant to corrupt justice without our knowledge – worse, we risk letting them make us complicit.
Thankfully, the Secret Barrister is back to reveal the stupidity, malice and incompetence behind many of the biggest legal stories of recent years. In Fake Law, the Secret Barrister debunks the lies and builds a defence against the abuse of our law, our rights and our democracy that is as entertaining as it is vital.