The Secret Barrister
National Book Awards Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Books are My Bag Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Waterstones Book Of The Year
THE SUNDAY TIMES 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
'Eye-opening, damning and hilarious' Tim Shipman, author of All Out War and Fall Out
“I’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 gonorrhoea.”
Welcome 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 ten years who 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 first-hand 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.
In the media
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
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
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
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