This is a very scary book. However, most people who read this book review on FACT website will already have some experience of how the legal system is malfunctioning. The Secret Barrister (a junior barrister specialising in criminal law and named Independent Blogger of the Year in 2016 and 2017) begins by tracing the history and development of law in England and Wales in his book and the ideal way in which it should function. He then analyses the various ways in which it fails. He severely criticises the Magistrates Court system, the state government’s intervention coupled with political bias, inaccurate reporting by the media and confusing legal jargon.
The Secret Barrister offers many examples from his own experience to explain how miscarriages of justice can happen and exhibits great sympathy for the falsely accused explaining the trauma and long-term suffering experienced when justice is derailed. He paints a short but vivid picture of prison life, including a perspective from the innocent incarcerated. Throughout the book he illustrates the difficulties an ordinary person can suffer when caught up in the failures of the legal system. This book is heavily referenced and the statements are therefore supported clearly by evidence. The Secret Barrister concludes with suggestions for raising public concern for the crumbling justice system.
This is an informative book for anyone interested in our justice system. It is not reassuring, and at times it is an uncomfortable read, but there is encouragement in the fact that a book like this has been written and has highlighted the problems. I was 58 in the queue at the library to read this book and there are now 56 people waiting for it after me. As a Sunday Times Bestseller there is hope that this book will spread the word on how the law is broken and may even lead to some timely challenges and much needed changes in our legal system.