THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER. Winner of the Books are My Bag Non-Fiction Award 2018. Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2018. Shortlisted for Specsavers Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2018.
‘Eye-opening, funny and horrifying’ Observer
‘Everyone who has any interest in public life should read it’ Daily Mail
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.
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 24 WEEKS.
By turns eye-opening, damning and hilarious, the secret barrister lifts the lid on a legal system where the system, the politicians, the lack of funding and sometimes the judges are the real villains and the victims are all of us (Tim Shipman, author of Fall Out and All Out War)
Dishes the dirt ― or serves up a slice of reality ― on what barristers do (The Times)
The Secret Barrister can write...everyone who has any interest in public life should read it...this is a book of some brilliance, clearly explained, cogently argued (Daily Mail)
What’s so powerful about The Secret Barrister is its ability to connect the dots...revealing a picture that is more a commentary on society as a whole than it is on robing rooms full of horsehair wigs (Afua Hirsch Guardian)
Takes the reader deep into the bowels of the criminal justice system...the message of this entertaining book is delivered with great skill...the book is at once a lament and a celebration...the justice system as not just for criminals and victims but for all of us - it is the symbol of our nation's humanity (The Times)
Funny, frightening, frequently infuriating but above all profoundly human. As a sensitive and knowledgeable storyteller, the Secret Barrister does for lawyers what James Herriot did for vets (James O'Brien)
Terrifying and occasionally hilarious... this is an eye-opening, if depressing, account of the practice of law today. Perhaps there is hope, but the author leaves us in no doubt that urgent reform is needed (The Observer)
This excellent book will hopefully raise awareness of what has been, until now, a silent crisis. It is at once a vicious polemic, a helpful primer and a cringe-inducing account of one barrister's travails (Daily Telegraph)
Funny, angry, mordant, social satire, reform manifesto – The Secret Barrister offers them all in this legal tour de force. Told through often heart-rending stories of victims and victors in a game of legal roulette, a quest for decency and proper standards of legal service shines through the bleakness. If the Secret Barrister has her or his way, it might happen a bit more often. Read this book, hope and pray (Andrew Adonis)
Its stories of how the law often fails those whom it is meant to protect – how do barristers feel when someone they believe to be innocent gets banged up for five years? – make for gripping reading. (John Crace The Guardian)