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Could the courts really order the death of your innocent baby? Was there an illegal immigrant who couldn't be deported because he had a pet cat? Are unelected judges truly 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 issue Could the courts really order the death of your innocent baby? Was there an illegal immigrant who couldn't be deported because he had a pet cat? Are unelected judges truly 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 other 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 an hilarious, alarming and eye-opening defence against the abuse of our law, our rights and our democracy.


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Could the courts really order the death of your innocent baby? Was there an illegal immigrant who couldn't be deported because he had a pet cat? Are unelected judges truly 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 issue Could the courts really order the death of your innocent baby? Was there an illegal immigrant who couldn't be deported because he had a pet cat? Are unelected judges truly 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 other 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 an hilarious, alarming and eye-opening defence against the abuse of our law, our rights and our democracy.

30 review for Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petra X living life blissfully,not through books!

    What happens when the media and people have all decided someone is guilty and so any lawyer that might represent them should be cancelled? As happened with Ronald J. Sullivan in Harvard (he lost his tenured position, see below, in italics **). This is not about that case more than any other. This is what happens. You get more crime. You get more exploitation. You feed the media with fake news because essentially they will print anything that brings them viewers of their ads. The first thing to no What happens when the media and people have all decided someone is guilty and so any lawyer that might represent them should be cancelled? As happened with Ronald J. Sullivan in Harvard (he lost his tenured position, see below, in italics **). This is not about that case more than any other. This is what happens. You get more crime. You get more exploitation. You feed the media with fake news because essentially they will print anything that brings them viewers of their ads. The first thing to note is that should you get arrested you should never, ever agree to take a polygraph test. See Arrest-Proof Yourself. They are not admissible as evidence because they aren't 100% accurate. They measure stress levels. Some people, feeling very intimidated, or perhaps they do know all about something but it was a brother or someone close, or just because they are jumpy, emotionally-unstable people cause the person administering the test to conclude they are lying or hiding something. Conversely, those with few emotions or no sense of guilt, psychopaths don't show the rise in stress level that would indicate their guilt. See You Have the Right to Remain Innocent So you take a test, it says you are lying, so now the police take this as absolute 100% proof and that is their agenda and they will work to fit all evidence to it. Up to and including false confessions if they can get one. You've seen all the tv documentaries, you've read all the stories of people who spent years in prison, even death row, before it was proved (usually these days through dna) that they didn't do it. You can add to that police corruption, police wanting to clear up cases to make their own records look good for promotion and pay rises. See Among the Lowest of the Dead. Let's say you have a high profile case, maybe a serial killer, maybe someone famous is involved, maybe someone who has committed a very interesting crime that the media will want to front-page for as long as it captures attention (on their ads). So you get band-wagonners. They think they can exploit the situation for their own gain. I don't believe all the #Metoo stories. For example, sex with Weinstein was in exchange for fame, for becoming a film star. Some of them were really forced and some of them, going up to his bedroom suite in a hotel for what is essentially a job interview and knowing his reputation, knew exactly what might happen. Some of them did te famous and stayed quiet for a long time. Some of them didn't and got compensation and stayed quiet. Some of them were molested and raped without any prior knowledge that the man might do such things to them. And now, some of them are coming forward and telling their stories and some of those are hopeful that since they didn't become rich and famous (view spoiler)[either because he reneged on the deal or they are talentless and not filmogenic (hide spoiler)] or because it never happened, they never even met the man but who will know that if it isn't brought up in court? And they are selling their stories to the media, truth or lies, that they might even get paid and some measure of fame that might lead to a reality show. So a case goes to court unchallenged by any but the most junior of lawyers since high profile clever ones can't afford to screw up their careers taking it, and the police just load up the killer, the rapist, the burglar, the stalker, whatever, with all the other cases that he failed a polygraph on, or other evidence points towards him, or people came forward and said they were victims. And meanwhile the real killers, rapists, stalkers, burglars, traffikers and paedophiles are laughing and carrying on since some of their crimes have now been pinned on someone else.. And those who sought fame and money, their stories will never be tested in court, they stand no chance of publicly being called liars and having their reputations destroyed, which wouldn't in any case, hurt their chances of getting on a reality show. ____________________ Is the bible of this woke culture Animal Farm? ** "In 2019, Harvard Law School professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr, a respected defence lawyer, found himself the subject of angry calls to resign from his faculty after agreeing to defend alleged sex offender Harvey Weinstein. His attempts to explain the importance of representing ‘unpopular defendants’ were drowned out by the rage of his students, whose petitions, marches and vandalism – Whose side are you on? was spray-painted on the faculty building – succeeded in evoking a shameful response from the university. Rather than reminding these bright young minds of the essential function of criminal defence, Harvard administrators promised a ‘climate review’ to investigate Professor Sullivan’s conduct. In May 2019, Harvard announced that his tenure would not be renewed." In the UK, there was a case where lawyer Richard Egan was representing an unpopular client. The Daily Rag (aka Dailymail.co.uk) stoked the fires of abuse which culminated "in a letter marked with a swastika threatening to petrol-bomb his office and kill his children." Take that to extremes and no person accused of anything that the populace thing they must be guilty of, MUST, all media evidence points to it, should be denied representation. There are countries like that, totalitarian ones. Do not speak out against whoever is running it and what that faction says people must believe and must not say. That was the USSR. That is China. That is what these people who go that Professor fired want? Yes, they do, for others, they see themselves as the ones making the rules and to be obeyed. I fucking hate cancel culture. It is no longer trial by jury, it is trial by those so woke, no platform, no debate, and now no defence should be given to those they consider guilty of any crime, disrespect or just plain not agreeing with whatever trope they are espousing. (view spoiler)[Or, for some of them, parroting because although they don't believe in it themselves, they don't want to face the social consequences from their group or and educational establishment or work, if they speak out or even remain silent themselves.. The young are always drawn to Marxism, as they should be - it is a wonderful theory, really idealistic. But it doesn't work. And now you see worthy political movements taken over by very knowing and cynical Marxist-inspired anarchists who seek to destroy rather than improve, reshape or even replace. To do that needs discussion and debate. And that they will not allow. There are not two sides, or even ten sides, to any argument any more. There is only one. Theirs. And now I see institutions like universities,the BBC (always biased, but much more so now), even reality tv cooking shows going along with it or else facing public wrath. And everything is public these days. And wrath is the main stance of those whose view is not heeded or is challenged. Here endeth the rant. For now. (hide spoiler)] ____________________ Warning If you are an American who believes that Christian values as defined by the Christian Defence Coalition or its offshoots like the Christian Legal Center (view spoiler)[this includes all Catholics who believe in the Pope's authority as well (hide spoiler)] , if you listen to Breibart News Network, if you believe that socialised medicine gives the State, as the sole provider, the 'right' to decide if children should live or die, if you believe that Stand Your Ground was a good law and preserved more human lives, if you believe that Britain is not a Christian nation and should be, if you believe the State has the right to own a woman's womb and decide if she should use contraception or have an abortion, then you are going to fucking hate this book. SYG in the US (view spoiler)[A study published in the Journal of he American Medical Association showed that the rate of homicides in Florida increased by 24.4% between 2005 and 2014 and firearm homicides by 31.6% when SYG was introduced. This was over a period when the nationwide homicide rates were declining. This increase was not present in states which had not enacted SYG laws. So of course, lots more states introduce it. The Journal of Human Resources in 2016 reported that SYG had contributed to an additional 600 homicides per year. This is not necessarily a bad law, it is what people think it means, so they get trigger-happy and juries agree with them. The worst of the worst was Amber Guyger who shot Mr Botham Jean after entering his flat in error and assuming it was her place and he was an intruder so she felt she was justified in shooting him dead. "Householder rights are perceived to be absolute, the right to protect life can quickly tip into a right to take life." And that is what has happened in the US with it's gun culture. (hide spoiler)] If you in any way supported anyone, lawyers, politicians, church, any organisation who campaigned to keep Terri Schiavo alive for all those years when it was obvious her own self had left the planet, that means you too. If you are British and like Nigel Farrage for any reason, you might not after reading this and it's nothing to do with Brexit. ____________________ Years ago, this guy, Tony Martin shot two burglars - as they were running away empty-handed. One died. He got charged with manslaughter and there was an outcry of support for him, he was only defending what was his. He said he had been woken by noises and come downstairs with his 12-bore pump action Winchester shotgun. This actually was half the truth. He had heard noises, by the time the men got in he was fully dressed and waiting in the breakfast room. He shot three times. And he did intend to kill them. What came out in court but not in the media which played up the sympathetic angle, was that he lay in wait for them. The fatal shot was to the victim's back. (They were unarmed). He had repeatedly told his local farm group meetings that the best way to stop them, "shoot the bastards". He said he would 'blow the heads off' any who came into his home. He also said that criminals should be put in field and a machine gun turned on them. He had previously shot at a man's vehicle who had tried to steal some apples from one of his trees and consequently lost his gun licence. So the gun he used to kill one man and injure another was illegal. It doesn't sound like self defence any more. And the whole discussion in the book is on what is reasonable force and what if it is reasonable force (a man hit a burglar on the head just once, it fractured his skull) but the result is much greater than intended. In the UK these discussions are interesting. In the US, 'stand your ground' is a licence to kill any intruder for any reason at all. Or not even an intruder, anyone you reasonably believe intends to harm or kill you. This is the usual police defence when they murder someone or other, especially minorities whom they are always certain were threatening them with (non-existent) guns. In the UK, if you get prosecuted for shooting an intruder and you get a sympathetic jury, then you're acquitted, if you get one that isn't even with all facts the same and no one offering a different version of events, then you go to prison! Trial by media followed by trial by jury. ____________________ Why I read the book. (view spoiler)[I very much enjoyed The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken. Fake law is, among other definitions, the misinterpretation of the law and legal processs either wilfully or through ignorance. Since most people understand the world and how news, politics and culture function and how it impacts them through the media, it is of prime importance to know exactly how to judge what is totally fake, what is based on reality, what is absolutely real but misinterpreted and what can be taken for truth. I'm hoping the book will clarify these issues. (hide spoiler)] The Want to Read list dilemma (view spoiler)[Every time I find a book I really, really want to read, it means another book I bought and really, really wanted to read, gets pushed down further. It is a dilemma, what to read next? (And then I get a new set of books every week when the ship comes in with the cargo). (hide spoiler)] What makes a 10 star book? The writing, the information, the fact that the book has made me think to the extent it has changed my life. As this book has. I'm in a ranting in reviews these days. Chicken and egg? Is it the books that inspire them or is it my mood?

  2. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    Essential and enraging. An informed look at the myths we're forcefed about the operation of the law (it's biased in favour of criminals! we pay far too much in legal aid!) and analyses not only the dreadful damage that's done to our rights and the body politic, but also takes a good look at who stands to gain from peddling these lies. Clue: it's not the general public. NB that while the current govt is rightly held up for its flagrant attack on human rights and access to justice, the previous La Essential and enraging. An informed look at the myths we're forcefed about the operation of the law (it's biased in favour of criminals! we pay far too much in legal aid!) and analyses not only the dreadful damage that's done to our rights and the body politic, but also takes a good look at who stands to gain from peddling these lies. Clue: it's not the general public. NB that while the current govt is rightly held up for its flagrant attack on human rights and access to justice, the previous Labour govt was just as guilty in its contempt for the rule of law. A very important book, as was the first. We really need much better civic education in schools as a starting point, but since it's so much in the govt's interests to deny most people access to justice or a knowledge of their rights, I doubt we'll be getting that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Krystelle Zuanic

    This is a much-needed myth-busting book on the Commonwealth approach to law (UK centric, but I'm from Australia and it certainly has wide applicability here as well). I didn't enjoy 'The Secret Barrister' anywhere near as much as I enjoyed this book, and it really feels like the author has found their voice properly. There's a lot of really interesting cases covered in this book, and while I would have enjoyed some more personal anecdotes here and there, examining some of the big headlines of to This is a much-needed myth-busting book on the Commonwealth approach to law (UK centric, but I'm from Australia and it certainly has wide applicability here as well). I didn't enjoy 'The Secret Barrister' anywhere near as much as I enjoyed this book, and it really feels like the author has found their voice properly. There's a lot of really interesting cases covered in this book, and while I would have enjoyed some more personal anecdotes here and there, examining some of the big headlines of today was a fantastic approach. There's a lot to be said about the political attacks on the legislation that is designed to keep us safe from those who would prey on us, and this book states its case well. It's not easy to explain concepts like hearsay in layman's terms successfully, but the author manages this with ease and provides the reader with appropriate context. I was particularly fond of the section on anti-discrimination legislation and the socio-economic impacts of constraining the operation of the law. I look forward to reading more books in this vein from the author. I am also happy to say that this book plants them firmly on the 'Hated By The Daily Mail' list- a high honour indeed, and one to be thoroughly proud of.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    *NB publication has been delayed til August I like to think I’m a critical thinker, I don’t just rely on the first page of google results for information, I never take Facebook posts or tweets at face value, and I’m sceptical of media headlines. In this day and age with information so freely available it should follow that the truth has no where to hide, but instead it increasingly feels as if truth is getting harder to find. It’s simplified to the point of meaninglessness by traditional media, i *NB publication has been delayed til August I like to think I’m a critical thinker, I don’t just rely on the first page of google results for information, I never take Facebook posts or tweets at face value, and I’m sceptical of media headlines. In this day and age with information so freely available it should follow that the truth has no where to hide, but instead it increasingly feels as if truth is getting harder to find. It’s simplified to the point of meaninglessness by traditional media, ignored as inconvenient by politicians, twisted in favour of click bait tiles, and buried under social media pile-ons. Nowhere is this more an issue than in the reporting on the law. “Fake Law”, the Secret Barrister writes, “[is the] distortion[s] of legal cases and judgments, spun and reformed for mass consumption.” Bias is implicit in communication, for which some allowances can be made, but a deliberate campaign to present misinformation as truth erodes society. “Society only functions if we all abide by common, agreed rules. If we don’t understand our justice system, and if our comprehension is corrupted by misinformation, we can’t properly engage with arguments over its functioning. We can’t critically evaluate its performance, identify its flaws, propose sensible reform or even participate meaningfully in everyday conversation about the stories in the news. Our unfamiliarity also makes us vulnerable to those who would exploit the gaps in our knowledge to push ulterior agendas.” The Secret Barrister supports his/her argument with examples from several different areas of law including Civil Compensation, Human Rights Law and Criminal Justice. He/she examines high profile cases to show how the media, politicians and/or special interest groups misunderstand or misinterpret the nuance of law in Sometimes this could be blamed on ignorance, the law is complicated and at times convoluted, but too often it is deliberately reframed in order to manipulate or inflame debate to suit an agenda, from oversimplifying the medical issues pertaining to a dying child, to selectively reporting the facts of a home invasion, or promoting ‘exceptional’ cases as the norm to justify capping insurance claim amounts or cutting the budget of Legal Aid. “It is bizarre that, for a nation so clearly susceptible to suspicion of ulterior motive, we disengage our critical faculties and swallow blindly the propaganda of billion-pound insurance companies. We lie back and allow ourselves to be enveloped in misinformed resentment towards our suffering neighbours receiving restitution, viewing it as a sore on, rather than a credit to, a civilised society.” I found the range of examples fascinating to read about, some of which I was familiar with, some not. The cases are specific to the UK and its legal system (which is similar enough to the Australia’s that I understand the generalities) but ‘fake law’ is not a phenomenon unique to the UK. It is evident everywhere, under every regime, and has already had an impact on the integrity of legal process, which is particularly noticeable in country’s where the judicial system is unduly influenced by political stakeholders. The law is not perfect, something The Secret Barrister willingly admits, but its principals are worth defending. “If we lose judicial independence, we lose the rule of law. The day a judge makes a binding decision affecting the rights and liberties of one of us, not on the legal and factual merits, but with a nervous glance to the press and public galleries, or with a beady eye on political favour or punishment, is the day that the decay in our democracy turns terminal.” I found The Secret Barrister’s narrative to be very readable, the tone personable and the information is presented in a logical and accessible manner. There is a lot to explore, examine, and debate in Fake Law, and I’m happy to recommend you do.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed P Aslam

    To illustrate fake news, is it justifiable to describe the law in such a fashion. foreign defendants avoiding deportation by claiming in court their “right to family life” after they have “knocked up some local slapper” The title of this book leads one to consider what is the relationship between Fake News and Fake Law and in some ways the comparisons can be canny. After all, ‘fake news’ is thought of as made up news, in fact, so much was the problem that the US President said: “We should have a To illustrate fake news, is it justifiable to describe the law in such a fashion. foreign defendants avoiding deportation by claiming in court their “right to family life” after they have “knocked up some local slapper” The title of this book leads one to consider what is the relationship between Fake News and Fake Law and in some ways the comparisons can be canny. After all, ‘fake news’ is thought of as made up news, in fact, so much was the problem that the US President said: “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”. Then we have Fake Law, which is thought of as made up law as we go through legal judgements which are considered to be dishonest laws in the court of public opinion. The writer confronts this notion in his book whilst he attempts to fuse together fake news and fake law as being interlocking concepts. The conversation in the early pages sets out the strangeness of the concept of law, which mysteriously aligns itself with the improbability of understanding what the law means even within context. The further conceptual understanding of law introduces us to a shadowy and sinister type of existence. So, when people refer to the law as ‘not fit for purpose’ or more curtly that the ‘law is an ass’, they are often referring to a law to have perfidious intensions. Oliver Twist as the origin of the phrase penned in Dickens work where Mr Bumble was told that the law assumes that a wife follows the authority of the husband, he was so infuriated, he replied, “If the law supposes that,” said Mr Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass – a idiot.” The book shows that the law indeed needs to be ‘supercharged’ so that the likes of Mr Bumble are not party to a law that is neither fit for purpose nor able to explain its purpose. The writer takes on the challenge of explaining the law of self-defence. His explanation offers an insight on how politicians and the news media have an uneasy relationship on matters of popular opinion and how to address legal grievances held by victims of crime. Often the media win in this ‘tug of war’ because they able to shout the loudest especially, as it becomes the headline banner. For example, when burglars began suing victims of their crimes, it was David Cameron (former Prime Minister of Britain) who made a manifesto commitment declaring that the homeowner can use disproportionate force to tackle an intruder but cannot use grossly disproportionate force. This amended legislation became known as the “Batter the Burglar” law. In the meantime, this sat alongside what was going on in the US, where a change in similar legislation bought about “Stand your Ground Law”. Both acts were not brought into force to improve home security but to appease public opinion. This is when fake news begins to enter our conversation. The book frequently delves into a whirlpool of legal nonsense where one can easily lose their sense of direction especially, if you consider whether the law should protect the villain or the victim. Helena Kennedy wrote that by changing the law to satisfy the victim can have unintended consequences. One such consequence, she wrote, is when the ‘victim’s movement’ campaigned for greater legal protections from the crimes committed by ‘villains’. This was seen as a trojan horse which allows the legal profession to attack the rights of defendants. This creates what is widely considered as the ‘illusion of inclusion’. Thus, separating the difference between what is objective law, and what consequently becomes ‘less objective’ in law. The book continues by arguing that fake law creates an atmosphere of distrust and anger when there are external factions setting the agenda for the law to follow and to determine if, for example, a critically ill child should live or die. An early question in the book dominated this discussion where, (a) should public opinion alongside political dogma influence the life of death of the child or (b) should it be the opinion of the medical experts and the courts. How much weight can the law have when faced with such a dreadful dilemma argues the writer, it is here that fake law takes over the conversation. Although, it is also possible that the corruption of the process may finally attempt to change the decision which is notably influenced by external views opposed to those of the courts. The debate scrutinises how fake law can become an emotive subject on child euthanasia and how political and public misbehaviour take advantage of this reaction by challenging unpopular legal judgements which brings into question the validity of our judicial process. There are a number of misleading opinions which influences the reader towards gaining a bias view on the value of practicing ‘law by public consent’, (e.g.) such as those who wanted to kill the two 10 year old boys when they were found guilty of killing 2 year old James Berger in 1993. Public behaviour was vying for blood. which in part led to two 10 years children being judged in an adult court and not a juvenile court. Blake Morrison wrote in the Independent that James Bulger's murderers must get justice from an adult world. The anger of the adult world towards two 10 year old children reached a frenzied pitch which almost led to a public lynching. Most of the middle chapters in the book describe procedural legal concepts, leaving the reader to decide what, how and where fake law is more prevalent. Parts of the book were beginning to show simplicity in its analysis of fake law, and I began to think if this book, although the earlier chapters were enlightening to read, began to reflect something like ‘Fake Law for Dummies’. It was at this point I began to skip large sections due to them being repetitive and intellectually tiresome. However, Chapter 5 captures some important notions around Human Rights law, but it began to be confusing as the debate attempted to straddle itself between Fake Law and Fake News. The book does continue to express the relationship between these two interlocking ideals, but the concepts became confusing to put it mildly. Whilst I was attempting to unravel some of the discussion points so that I could remain focussed on the key junctures within the debate, I found the writer beginning to stray towards bigoted expressions in order to illustrate behaviours towards a court decision. In any case, it was unacceptable when he attempted to simplify Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. This is where he argued, that the courts have to make unpopular decisions concerning foreigners committing crimes for which they should be but cannot be deported, specifically, when the defendants claim their “right to family life” after they have “knocked up some local slapper”. While sexist jokes might seem ‘harmless’, they're actually not Whilst one can appreciate how the law is manipulated to make it work for the defendant, and lawyers have been doing this since time began, so this is not a new phenomenon. The fact the writer has given this form of manipulation a new title “Fake Law” is no more fake today than it was a 100 years ago when lawyers did their best to get their client ‘off the hook’. It is true the law is manipulated to suit a particular purpose but to call it ‘fake’ illustrates that the law lies. the law can not lie. if it is not applied correctly, then it is the judicial system that has been corrupted to meet a specific purpose. In conclusion, the term Fake Law is used in the title to sensationalise the book for improved sales rather genuinely attempting to tackle the concept for a better understanding of the law. The book is an interesting read but if you are looking for informative material to enlighten your thirst for law, then you should look elsewhere, Helena Kennedy’s work may not be a bad place to start. After reading this work, I was still left simply asking the question, what is your point? All the writer has done is fused public opinion with political opinion. This work has primarily failed in its objective of trying to show that fake news and fake law are interlocked.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    The law is not an ass. It has been misrepresented over the decades by the press and politicians who wish to cement their power base and cover up their shortcomings. The Secret Barrister's love of the law shines through this book, with a number of widely held beliefs about the law explained concisely and clearly, adding the much needed context necessary for the public to understand what the judgments are actually saying about the case in point. The law is not an ass. It has been misrepresented over the decades by the press and politicians who wish to cement their power base and cover up their shortcomings. The Secret Barrister's love of the law shines through this book, with a number of widely held beliefs about the law explained concisely and clearly, adding the much needed context necessary for the public to understand what the judgments are actually saying about the case in point.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana Alexandra Bustillos

    This is definitely one of my favourite books of 2021 so far. Regardless of whether you are in the legal field of not, this book by the Secret Barrister is worth a read! The Secret Barrister highlights, both articulately and persuasively, the true limitations of the UK legal system alongside the meddling of the media and government to make matters worse ok certain occasions. Not only are the main areas of law covered to give a better understanding to the layman of stories that may have been miscon This is definitely one of my favourite books of 2021 so far. Regardless of whether you are in the legal field of not, this book by the Secret Barrister is worth a read! The Secret Barrister highlights, both articulately and persuasively, the true limitations of the UK legal system alongside the meddling of the media and government to make matters worse ok certain occasions. Not only are the main areas of law covered to give a better understanding to the layman of stories that may have been misconstrued to the public, but clarification is given on how unbalanced legal cuts are to those who truly need legal representation. It is not to say that everything the media and government do are wrong but there are certain areas that need work and that is what this book focuses on. I study and work in the legal field and this book does not fail to bring to light all the important issues that our legal system faces. It is easy to understand and should be something everyone in the UK, at the very least, should be reading.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Naomi (aplace_inthesun)

    I'm fascinated by true crime and legal matters and jumped at the change to request Fake Law through the publisher, who provided me with a free copy to read and review. This is a look at multiple UK cases which, reading in Australia, are reflected in case within our justice system. Where people surmise the law is clean cut, and did they or didn't they - this book gives all the shades along the spectrum showing why things are not always clear cut. For example the book looks at provocation and a numb I'm fascinated by true crime and legal matters and jumped at the change to request Fake Law through the publisher, who provided me with a free copy to read and review. This is a look at multiple UK cases which, reading in Australia, are reflected in case within our justice system. Where people surmise the law is clean cut, and did they or didn't they - this book gives all the shades along the spectrum showing why things are not always clear cut. For example the book looks at provocation and a number of cases of self-defence. I can think of one off the top of my head locally where a man was charged following chasing another man who broke into his home and affected a citizen's arrest 330m from his home. Immediately following the arrest the arrested man died and there was a trial where it was claimed the home owner acted in self-defence and did not contribute to the man's death. In this case the jury returned unanimous verdicts of not guilty to the crimes of murder and manslaughter of the deceased. The cases in Fake Law provided a whole different perspective on cases with similar presentations but different outcomes. Absolutely fascinating, and along with a few other true crime books I have read lately (including one form a current forensic scientist) I am intrigued by the actualities of the justice system vs the theoretical. Thanks to Macmillan Australia for providing me this copy to read and review. I think I'll be quoting these cases for a while.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adrian White

    One of the good guys: gathering the evidence and exposing the lies we're told in the service of tyranny. Who benefits from the deceit? They do. Who pays? We do. When they come for you, as they will, pray you have The Secret Barrister arguing your case. One of the good guys: gathering the evidence and exposing the lies we're told in the service of tyranny. Who benefits from the deceit? They do. Who pays? We do. When they come for you, as they will, pray you have The Secret Barrister arguing your case.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A very interesting read, it puts right all those things that you thought you knew about the law, but didn't and tells some truly shocking facts about how politicians bend the facts to suit their own agenda. A very interesting read, it puts right all those things that you thought you knew about the law, but didn't and tells some truly shocking facts about how politicians bend the facts to suit their own agenda.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura Spira

    Everyone should read this book. Grounded in painstaking research, the unidentified author ( a practising criminal barrister) sets out very clearly the real limitations of the UK justice system, demonstrating the ill-conceived interference by government ministers (often with a legal background, which is astonishing) and shows how those limitations are often exaggerated and misreported by the media. There is nothing partisan about this, no left or right wing bias, just a determination to show how o Everyone should read this book. Grounded in painstaking research, the unidentified author ( a practising criminal barrister) sets out very clearly the real limitations of the UK justice system, demonstrating the ill-conceived interference by government ministers (often with a legal background, which is astonishing) and shows how those limitations are often exaggerated and misreported by the media. There is nothing partisan about this, no left or right wing bias, just a determination to show how ordinary people are often let down by a system which should be protecting them. Well written, clearly structured, it is a depressing read but it is a polemic which does, at the end, offer practical suggestions for improvement. Improved general understanding of the system and its workings is essential and education is the key.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rosalind

    Fake Law is one of those books that really should be compulsory reading in schools. Probably aspiring journalists and politicians should be required to pass an exam on it before being allowed to practice their chosen professions, particularly in England and Wales; the book makes no reference to Scotland, where we do things differently, and that's probably wise since The Secret Barrister practices in England and Wales and that's her area of expertise (we don't know whether TSB is male or female b Fake Law is one of those books that really should be compulsory reading in schools. Probably aspiring journalists and politicians should be required to pass an exam on it before being allowed to practice their chosen professions, particularly in England and Wales; the book makes no reference to Scotland, where we do things differently, and that's probably wise since The Secret Barrister practices in England and Wales and that's her area of expertise (we don't know whether TSB is male or female but rightly or wrongly I seem to hear the voice of a woman, and one from north of the Trent, probably north of the Mersey. I may be spectacularly wrong but I'm sticking with it until I know better). The English Civil Law and its protections is often held up as one of the institutions to be proud of in principle (here in Scotland I'll reserve full judgment), but unlike other institutions like the NHS or the BBC, most people feel that involvement with the law is about other people, unsavoury types who aren't like them, so either through ignorance of how the law works or through the heart getting the better of the head, they resent its protections when it seems to be giving bad people benefits they don't deserve. Most people, of course, will pass their lives without ever being arrested and charged with an offence they didn't commit but some will find themselves on the wrong side of the law – it happens more often than we like to think – and when they do they may suddenly be grateful to have one of those lawyers who get murderers, rapists and paedophiles 'off the hook' on their side. And however much politicians and tabloids rail against huge amounts of Legal Aid being paid out to wrong'uns (who never actually see a penny of it as it is paid to the lawyers in less-than-generous remuneration for their work), those caught on the wrong foot should not have to sell their home to clear their name. The law should be available to all who need it. And don't get me started on the High Court and Supreme Court lawyers unfairly charged with "defying the people's will" over things like Brexit. Their only bias is towards the law as it stands (a bit of a mess to be honest, much of it inscribed in centuries of case law, but we pay them well for knowing their way around the labyrinth) and don't deserve the tabloid bile ("ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE") and consequent death threats piled on them for maintaining it. The law is imperfect, and it certainly isn't in the business of being sentimental. It protects all those who act within it, even deeply-unpleasant toerags, but our freedom hinges on its consistent application to angels and devils alike. We all ought to understand a lot more about it, and that's where this book is a good start.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Warren Glover

    I'm going to start off by saying I am someone with an A in A level law (hold the applause). While yes this is part smugness, it is also to explain that I approached the book differently to most, so when I claim that the actual law explanations were on law I was somewhat familiar with and I found I was wanting more in depth academic discussions, note the position of approach and my understanding that it was written for the lay person. What I did find of immense value was the details of cases beyon I'm going to start off by saying I am someone with an A in A level law (hold the applause). While yes this is part smugness, it is also to explain that I approached the book differently to most, so when I claim that the actual law explanations were on law I was somewhat familiar with and I found I was wanting more in depth academic discussions, note the position of approach and my understanding that it was written for the lay person. What I did find of immense value was the details of cases beyond what is strictly necessary to understand the law, because there is also a target of explaining the misconceptions. An example would be the case of Tony Martin. In the same vain, the public and political reactions to these cases also proved valuable and interesting because it helped break the notion of law being an isolated thing to study rather than a instrument that is fundamental to everyday life and have had significant changes on both society and the rhetoric surrounding politics. It also happens to find itself aligned closer with my current area of study. The structure of the book lent itself to an easier read. It's more storytelling approach, focusing on a chronological view of individual matters within the chapters, help the reader to process the logic behind what's being talked about and allows people with limited knowledge of a certain aspect not to be left behind. The nature of the writing also helps alleviated some of the crushing weight felt in the topics. The ability to spread the tougher topics around the context means that while after a chapter you may need time to process and decompress, you don't feel emotionally overwhelmed during the chapters as you would with blunt matter of fact talk of sometimes truly harrowing accounts. I feel like this is a book I would recommend to people unfamiliar with the law as it has great articulation of key principles. The only disappointment is that I found myself simply nodding along with chunks at a time before the borders were widened beyond what the law strictly says. And a significant lack of Latin (the best bit of law). You may applaud now

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I cannot emphasise enough how vital reading this book is to understanding the reality of the press, the government, the justice system & the people in modern day Britain. The Secret Barrister takes many high-profile news stories from the UK press and breaks down the hype the media generated compared to the legal reality in the courtroom. This is done in a comprehensive and easy to understand manner, with elements of humour to grease the wheels along the way. It is to the Secret Barrister's credi I cannot emphasise enough how vital reading this book is to understanding the reality of the press, the government, the justice system & the people in modern day Britain. The Secret Barrister takes many high-profile news stories from the UK press and breaks down the hype the media generated compared to the legal reality in the courtroom. This is done in a comprehensive and easy to understand manner, with elements of humour to grease the wheels along the way. It is to the Secret Barrister's credit that they do not shy away from the difficult cases; from the prorogation of Parliament to the care of Alfie Evans, they analyse the context, furor and legal realities of each. Also tackled are the Legal Aid system, employment law and more. Ministers who have worked for governments of both parties come under The Secret Barrister's judgmental gaze and they take no prisoners. Indeed, by the end of certain chapters there are certain names the very mention of whom should draw your ire (looking at Chris Grayling in particular here). Seriously, please take time out to read/listen to this book. You will understand modern Britain more thoroughly and be able to cut through the chaff of day to day news stories to find what really happened. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    The one thing that this book made me realise is that, even when put into context, the law really is so hard to define and categorise. There's so much to consider that you never think about until moments like this where cases are made situational. I did occasionally find that I felt more invested in some cases and situations than in others, but that's a personal thing really. I think a lot of the cases depend on how you feel towards the concept and/or whether you're genuinely interested in knowin The one thing that this book made me realise is that, even when put into context, the law really is so hard to define and categorise. There's so much to consider that you never think about until moments like this where cases are made situational. I did occasionally find that I felt more invested in some cases and situations than in others, but that's a personal thing really. I think a lot of the cases depend on how you feel towards the concept and/or whether you're genuinely interested in knowing more. There were a few moments where I felt the writing got a little tedious and repetitive, but in between those moments were some fascinating cases. Overall, I thought it was really interesting to see this 'insider' perspective of the law that's not just a culmination of every news headline or social media infographic post. It was actually very insightful, particularly in terms of decisions that you think are logical and straightforward but actually wouldn't make sense when put into context of a combination of laws. Thank you to Book Break UK for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    The argument in this book is simple: “Portrayals of the law (and of the legal system) are factually inaccurate, and that is bad”. This leitmotif rings across each of the nine chapters. Each chapter deals with a different area of law. Secret Barrister covers areas of positive law (from family law, to criminal law, to human rights, to employment law) to more abstracted concepts (like the rule of law and democracy). The scope of the book is admirable. Its message is persuasive. However, this book rare The argument in this book is simple: “Portrayals of the law (and of the legal system) are factually inaccurate, and that is bad”. This leitmotif rings across each of the nine chapters. Each chapter deals with a different area of law. Secret Barrister covers areas of positive law (from family law, to criminal law, to human rights, to employment law) to more abstracted concepts (like the rule of law and democracy). The scope of the book is admirable. Its message is persuasive. However, this book rarely surprises you. With each chapter repeating the same premise, to retain your attention this book counts upon your unfamiliarity with (and, I suppose, incredulity about) the areas of law discussed. Sadly, then, there’s little fodder for individuals already familiar with the law. For such people, I fear that without novel and refreshing descriptive passages, the oft-repeated normative argument will quickly tire. So, while this book is laudable in its argument and breadth, I suspect that lawyers and law students will find it rather less exciting than the Secret Barrister’s sizzling debut.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sivvy

    If I ever find myself on the wrong end of a court case, I totally want the eloquent, articulate and persuasive Secret Barrister on my side. After a wonderful (and depressing) first book explaining how the UK legal system was on its knees, this follow-up tackles an equally depressing but ever more relevant topic - that of ‘Fake Law’, the attention-grabbing clickbait stories of legal aid ‘handouts’, and ‘jackpot’ compensation claims that go viral and undermine public faith in the rule of law. With If I ever find myself on the wrong end of a court case, I totally want the eloquent, articulate and persuasive Secret Barrister on my side. After a wonderful (and depressing) first book explaining how the UK legal system was on its knees, this follow-up tackles an equally depressing but ever more relevant topic - that of ‘Fake Law’, the attention-grabbing clickbait stories of legal aid ‘handouts’, and ‘jackpot’ compensation claims that go viral and undermine public faith in the rule of law. With clever use of high profile cases that we’re all familiar with (or at least think we are), the Secret Barrister shows just how inaccurate press reporting can be - seemingly without challenge - and how easily politicians and lobbyists twist the legal facts to suit their agendas. As with the first book, this one leaves the reader in despair at the state of the world, but so much better informed to question simplistic headlines and political soundbites, and to seek out the legal truth behind them. An essential read in these challenging times.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Holly Forsyth

    Made it to part way through chapter 7, DNF. When it’s good, it’s great, but there are several aspects in which this book is lacking. I found the chapters on self-defence and Human Rights law great, but the others were distinctly lacking. There are several instances of too much information, and some in which there’s not enough. Occasionally, SB writes about the subject in question in the same style as if he were a tabloid journalist, and I found that quite an awkward reading experience as it wasn Made it to part way through chapter 7, DNF. When it’s good, it’s great, but there are several aspects in which this book is lacking. I found the chapters on self-defence and Human Rights law great, but the others were distinctly lacking. There are several instances of too much information, and some in which there’s not enough. Occasionally, SB writes about the subject in question in the same style as if he were a tabloid journalist, and I found that quite an awkward reading experience as it wasn’t always immediately clear what was trying to be achieved. There were definitely moments in which it wasn’t clear what the book’s actual aim was. The book probably would’ve benefitted from a more thorough edit overall. Perhaps it would’ve been better to start with the chapter about the process of criminal law and build up. Or else the chapters probably would’ve made decent blog posts, whereas they don’t necessarily work as a cohesive book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ravina

    ‘Fake Law’ breaks down how and why the legal system works the way that it does in a manner that everyone to understand, with or without a legal background. This book looks specifically at how the media and government fill the knowledge gap of the justice system within the public by misrepresenting the law, using high-profile cases ranging from the tragic cases of Charlie Gard and James Bulger, to Brexit, to Shamima Begum. The Secret Barrister discusses misconceptions surrounding the right to def ‘Fake Law’ breaks down how and why the legal system works the way that it does in a manner that everyone to understand, with or without a legal background. This book looks specifically at how the media and government fill the knowledge gap of the justice system within the public by misrepresenting the law, using high-profile cases ranging from the tragic cases of Charlie Gard and James Bulger, to Brexit, to Shamima Begum. The Secret Barrister discusses misconceptions surrounding the right to defend yourself in your own home, the alleged compensation culture, commonly circulated criticisms of human rights, and the real impact of LASPO on the legal profession and the ability to do justice. It provides an insight into the law of England and Wales, and it will really make you rethink everything you thought you knew about some of the defining cases of recent years. It is a must read for anyone living in the UK or interested in the justice system of England and Wales.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Another great book by The Secret Barrister. This time looking at how the media - and politicians - cover and portray the justice system, and then stating how it actually works...or sometimes doesn’t. I always appreciate when somebody shares information but still allows the reader to formulate their own opinions, and the epilogue (in particular) does exactly that.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stevie

    Very interesting and enlightening - although also quite depressing. Will definitely change the way I see law stories in the media. Listened to this as an audiobook, which was brilliantly narrated by Jack Hawkins - would absolutely recommend it as a listen.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Enjoyed the beginning of the book which discussed real cases alongside the law. The second half was a struggle as the real cases disappeared or were only loosely referenced and we're left with what the law is. Enjoyed the beginning of the book which discussed real cases alongside the law. The second half was a struggle as the real cases disappeared or were only loosely referenced and we're left with what the law is.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Ellcock

    Essential reading for those with the vaguest interest in the law, our constitution, politics and/or journalism.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steve Cornforth

    SB confronts and explains many myths about UL Law promoted by politicians and the media...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    This book is incredibly well written and accessible. It should be mandatory reading for every single person in the UK before they’re allowed to get their hands on a copy of the Daily Mail or the Sun, or even before they turn on their TV and read clickbait-y headlines on Facebook. Having studied numerous issues addressed in the book and read a lot of the cases discussed, there is absolutely no misrepresentation or manipulation of facts to make a point, and the author’s account is impartial, even This book is incredibly well written and accessible. It should be mandatory reading for every single person in the UK before they’re allowed to get their hands on a copy of the Daily Mail or the Sun, or even before they turn on their TV and read clickbait-y headlines on Facebook. Having studied numerous issues addressed in the book and read a lot of the cases discussed, there is absolutely no misrepresentation or manipulation of facts to make a point, and the author’s account is impartial, even if it might not seem like it. I also loved Stories of the Law and how it’s broken, but this one is astonishing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Donohoe

    Another excellent book by the Secret Barrister (SB). Full disclosure, I'm a lawyer myself, although I practice in Ireland. While SB's first book focused on the inequities of the British system particularly in light of the enormous cuts to the Justice budget, Fake Law looks at the relationship between law, media and politics. Apart from a maturing of SB's writing style which you would expect for a second book, as a non-British lawyer I found there to be a greater resonance with the issues in my o Another excellent book by the Secret Barrister (SB). Full disclosure, I'm a lawyer myself, although I practice in Ireland. While SB's first book focused on the inequities of the British system particularly in light of the enormous cuts to the Justice budget, Fake Law looks at the relationship between law, media and politics. Apart from a maturing of SB's writing style which you would expect for a second book, as a non-British lawyer I found there to be a greater resonance with the issues in my own jurisdiction. For that reason alone I prefer Fake Law. I would encourage anyone outside of the UK to give this book a go - you won't be disappointed. While of course the various cases discussed were British, many of them were very recent 'scandals' which were reported far and wide in the English-language press. SB has a great punchy style of writing, but Chapter 2 proves that they're not just a one trick pony. This chapter looks at the cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, two very young children where hospitals sought Orders to administer palliative care. Many people will remember the horrendous media storm which dragged in, amongst others, Donald Trump and the Pope. This chapter is really the stand out of the book and shows SB at their best. Infused with kindness towards the grieving parents, SB lambasts the special interest groups who latched on to the parents and the media (not only tabloids) and politicians of various stripes that encouraged and fanned the flames of the furore. For me, the reiteration of some of the first principles of tort or the ECtHR were a little redundant (as of course we follow many of the same principles in Irish law) however I would certainly recommend this book for a prospective law student - not only are the cases discussed contemporary and interesting, SB is excellent at breaking down complex areas of law back to basics. SB finishes with a serious of somewhat loose suggestions on what can be done to aid the generally terrible understanding the public (and politicians) have of the law. Only a few pages are devoted to this and it is perhaps the weakest part of the book. I actually thought the suggestion that new MPs entering Parliament should attend mandatory law courses an excellent one - I don't understand why SB walked that back! Overall, this book is a truly excellent and prescient popular law book and I will be pressing it into many, many hands. SB is firmly established as an 'instant buy' author for me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jane Louise

    The Secret Barrister’s first book Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken, a detailed exposition of how the criminal justice system in England and Wales is on the verge of collapse because of chronic underfunding, written by an anonymous criminal barrister working in England, was one of my must-reads of last year (in fact, if you haven’t read it, read it now. I would say you could borrow my copy, but I left in my cousin’s Portuguese villa in the hope of enticing other holidaymakers to spend their The Secret Barrister’s first book Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken, a detailed exposition of how the criminal justice system in England and Wales is on the verge of collapse because of chronic underfunding, written by an anonymous criminal barrister working in England, was one of my must-reads of last year (in fact, if you haven’t read it, read it now. I would say you could borrow my copy, but I left in my cousin’s Portuguese villa in the hope of enticing other holidaymakers to spend their break receiving some legal education!!) Anyway, I digress. Needless to say, having found SB’s first book such a worthwhile read, I grabbed his or her second book, Fake Law: The Truth about Justice in an Age of Lies, as soon as it was released. One of the reasons our criminal justice system is in such a parlous state is because of the way in which the media and politicians encourage us to think about the law. This is the issue SB tackles in this book. S/he looks at the way the media report on prominent legal cases, and how this leads to public misconceptions about how the law actually works, and subsequently to political crackdowns and changes to the system which do anything but help those it is meant to protect. The books covers several areas of law, including self-defence, employment law, personal injury law, human rights, legal aid, and criminal trials. In each chapter, SB references cases that made headlines, and the way they were reported in the media, or spun by politicians – did farmer Tony Martin go to jail merely for defending his home from intruders? Did the Human Rights Act really prevent an illegal immigrant from being deported just because he had a pet cat? Did someone really get a massive payout from the local authority because they fell off the toilet? S/he then explains what actually happened in each case, and the legal principles involved. This explanation generally reveals that, all too often, news reports and ministers present details without context, sensationalise and distort facts, or are sometimes just plain wrong. Legal principles are misunderstood or wilfully obfuscated in order to create a better headline, generate more clicks or to push an agenda. Each chapter ends with an illustration of the consequences of this sensationalised reporting, and the dangerous path it is leading us down. For example, constant headlines about excessive compensation payouts led to politicians tightening the laws around making a claim, meaning that now it is very difficult for people who have genuinely been wronged to receive payouts. Constant negative headlines about the Human Rights Act has led to politicians promising to abolish it – and yet we never hear it praised when it helps people, such as the Hillsborough families or the victims of ‘black cab rapist’ John Worboys, to get the justice they deserve. SB also discusses several cases that lingered in the public consciousness due to their emotional impact, such as the sentencing of the killers of James Bulger, and the cases of terminally ill little boys Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans. I found these sections particularly interesting. These cases are so difficult, and there will always be people who disagree with the conclusions the judges reached. Indeed, SB’s intention is not to argue that the courts got these judgments right, but to explain clearly and precisely how and why these decisions were made. This, in turn, allows us to have an informed opinion. There is also a chapter about the importance of an independent judiciary, particularly relevant at the moment as we watch Trump moulding the Supreme Court in his own image in the US. Overall I found this book absolutely fascinating. It was so interesting to hear the real stories of legal cases, behind the headlines and soundbites. It is also very accessible – I have studied law, so I have some understanding, but the legal principles are explained so clearly that even those who have had no legal education will be able to understand. The prose is engaging, entertaining and very readable. Also, like SB’s first book, Fake Law is really quite worrying. This miseducation is driven by a process of ‘othering’ – convincing people that justice, whether criminal or civil, is not something that concerns us, only other people. Therefore people are quite happy when politicians announce that sentences are to become harsher, that compensation or legal aid are to become harder to access, that the Human Rights Act should be abolished, because they have been led to believe that these are not things that will ever affect them or their loved ones. This book helps to demonstrate that this is, of course, not the case. We should be very wary of cheering a government that is willing to strip rights from others, because what’s to say that one day, it won’t be your rights they are taking away? The final chapter does suggest some potential solutions to the problem, including making legal education a mandatory part of the curriculum. It is very true that the law is a mystery to many of us – something for which, SB admits, the legal profession itself is partially responsible, with its air of lofty elitism. I think this is a brilliant idea. Law impacts almost every area of our lives and it is madness that we have so little knowledge of it. Making legal education compulsory would help people to understand the law better, and to identify when the media or politician are peddling fake law. Should such a course be introduced, there is absolutely no doubt that this should be among the set texts. But until then, all I can do is encourage as many people as possible to read it, so that the next time they see a Fake Law story, they might think twice.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Macfarlane

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sorry should have pointed out i accidentally posted this elsewhere Very well worth reading. Entertainingly written and serves a point as there is truth that the headlines do distort the truth. By and large I'm prepared to accept the legal determination of the Secret Barrister though they have a serious lack of knowledge about Social Security but they can't be expected to know every law in the United Kingdom. The main problem is the entire book spectacularly misses the point about why people are su Sorry should have pointed out i accidentally posted this elsewhere Very well worth reading. Entertainingly written and serves a point as there is truth that the headlines do distort the truth. By and large I'm prepared to accept the legal determination of the Secret Barrister though they have a serious lack of knowledge about Social Security but they can't be expected to know every law in the United Kingdom. The main problem is the entire book spectacularly misses the point about why people are susceptible to headlines. So in the chapter on Employment Tribunals it is right to point out that the vast majority of claims are settled before getting to tribunals. However that isn't an admission of guilt but just a recognition by the companies that this is easily the cheapest option, cheaper even than winning the case and having their legal costs awarded (the admin involved in preparing a case, the admin informing out how much it is costing, the loss of those staff to their main duties, the likelihood that their costs are never going to be recouped from an unemployed ex employee. In the section about immigration tribunals/human rights it is correct that the fact of an applicant having a cat has never been the single defining factor in a case granting someone leave to stay. The question not addressed though is why did a lawyer feel it was worth putting into the case if it was not that relevant. In the mind of the Secret Barrister the lawyer is entitled to put irrelevant facts in that must be considered. The other side is not permitted to question what is relevant. I mention Social Security Law. The Secret Barrister repeats the lie that the DWP finds people fit for work. DWP does not and certainly since personal, then work capability assessments have been introduced (there is a clue in the name) it never has. Instead it makes judgements on the evidence of a person's capability for work, a longer term consideration. Unfortunately most people think just saying you have x,y or z health condition is enough to be declared unable ever to work when if it was that simple DWP could just go to the many people they employ and ask "You have x,you or z. Are you able to work" and bingo everyone can work. DWP is not actually that incompetent a bureaucracy as described in the book so much as only able to make decisions on the evidence it is given which despite its best efforts to make things as lucid as possible the clientele simply never provide. The vast majority of overturned cases are only on the basis of new information which only the prospect of losing has spurred a customer into action to provide - often so late in the case dwp hasn't been able to se it and change their decision. There are 3 big problems which no amount of nuance can overcome.  1.Most people would proffer an opinion on a case on the balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt. So when they hear incredulous explanations of why x did something (think of Dominic Cummings or of Nick Freeman faking up reasons why people rich enough to afford him were speeding and throwing down the challenge "Go on then , prove me wrong and my client wasn't really thinking that he was being chased by zombie") they are thinking "that's not likely" rather than "he's right. I can't prove driving a dangerous metal object around potential victims is a good way to test your failing eyesight" 2. Most peoples encounter only barriers in the law. You've been burgled. You know who did it. You even have the video of the burglar waving and smiling at your security camera but the police and defence lawyer will insist on more so you never get your heirlooms back. 3. The experience of the courts for most is jury service. You spend a week going to the court. You never get into the courtroom because Mr X decided at the last minute when he saw you turning up as a witness that he did in fact batter you with an iron bar and kick 7 shades of Good for the roses because you refused to hand over your wallet and so changes his plea. I have been called many times and been a witness called on 3 occasions and never actually got in to hear a case ever and this is just so common an experience. Notwithstanding that you should always question a headline and, as I mentioned, this is an entertaining read it is clearly written by someone with a profession and raison d'etre to defend and a professions with many offensive actions to explain

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris Barnes

    Eye-Opening, This Shit Needs To Be Yelled From The Rooftops right so, i haven't read The Secret Barristers first book (although after reading this i'm ready to buy it) but i knew this would be the sort of thing i'd enjoy. i'm very picky about non-fictions, but anything with an author in a profession discussing the hidden truths of their job is my dream (think, This Is Going To Hurt). starting out with this book i expected it to be uncovering how corrupt our justice system is, specifically in brita Eye-Opening, This Shit Needs To Be Yelled From The Rooftops right so, i haven't read The Secret Barristers first book (although after reading this i'm ready to buy it) but i knew this would be the sort of thing i'd enjoy. i'm very picky about non-fictions, but anything with an author in a profession discussing the hidden truths of their job is my dream (think, This Is Going To Hurt). starting out with this book i expected it to be uncovering how corrupt our justice system is, specifically in britain. i thought it would expose cases which went under the radar, which deserved more public attention, or scandals involving judges, or reasons to distrust the law. however, it is exactly the opposite. this book exposes the media and the people who have (in some very high-profile cases) fed lies, twisted the truth and created an evil heartless villain out of the justice system, when in fact, it is them that are the villains. the title makes sense but really this book is 'Fake Media: The Truth Behind the Medias Lies. not only is the book educational in understanding our legal and human rights in multiple aspects of life (work, health, family, self-defence etc.) but has personally opened my eyes to the damage the media can have not only on peoples faith in the law, but also the repercussions it can have for family facing public trials etc. SB discusses how Law and Justice should be taught right through school, yet it never its way onto my curriculum. i am a grown-ass man and i have no idea of my legal rights, how to obtain legal advice, ANYTHING regarding the law and how it works, but i should! i feel like I'm sort of going off on one, but why do the general population (myself included) have no idea how the justice system works and why/how they make the decisions they do? it needs to be taught, yet schools don't feel the need, instead favouring other pointless shit which is a help to literally no one. anyway, rant over. this book was amazing. it blew opens huge stories and is responsible for regaining my faith in the justice system. if you think it is corrupt, heartless or cruel (like i did), please read this book and see that, once again, it is the media that are at the centre of every piece of bad press and public outcry. =-=-=-= i gave this book 4 stars, i just wanted more. (if you do have the physical copy though, do be aware that the last sizeable chunk of it is a huge bibliography/reference list. i was excited to read on with plenty of pages left only to discover it is just references (which obviously is great! but i just wanted more chapters)) (sorry for the double brackets). =-=-=-=

  30. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    A gripping polemic on the erosion of the rule of law in England & Wales - with some knock-on to Scotland, when constitutional matters are involved. The author is passionate about his subject matter but also rational, and never manichean in his analysis. The Blair government wreaked some damage on the legal system but since 2010 harm has intensified, perhaps even exponentially. Heaven help you if you are accused of a crime you didn’t commit. Even if found “not guilty”, or the prosecution drops it A gripping polemic on the erosion of the rule of law in England & Wales - with some knock-on to Scotland, when constitutional matters are involved. The author is passionate about his subject matter but also rational, and never manichean in his analysis. The Blair government wreaked some damage on the legal system but since 2010 harm has intensified, perhaps even exponentially. Heaven help you if you are accused of a crime you didn’t commit. Even if found “not guilty”, or the prosecution drops its case mid-trial, you could lose your house to pay for legal representation, in addition to loss of employment, reputation, possible incarceration on remand. Or else, you represent yourself in court; tough if you’re not a trained lawyer, dreadful if you’ve learning disabilities, are an unaccompanied child refugee, don’t speak English to degree level, stammer, or do not in other ways compare with Rumpole of the Bailey. The doings of Chris Grayling, who has the opposite to the Midas touch, are recounted- but only for the accident-prone politician’s time in charge of law. Most important of all are the recent attacks of the government on democracy itself, in the wake of the EU referendum, naturally with the continued support of right wing media. The vituperative ad hominem attacks on the judiciary have been deafening, the rhetoric vicious. The separation of powers is essential for every one of us. Our rights as human beings and citizens are threatened, and our duties (that means ALL of us) distorted.

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