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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
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Defending the Guilty: Truth and Lies in the Criminal Courtroom

ISBN13: 9780141042725
Previous Edition ISBN: 9780670918300
Published: April 2011
Publisher: Penguin Books
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £9.99

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A Kitchen Confidential of Britain's criminal justice system, packed with gripping, real-life courtroom drama and savage wit.

As a criminal barrister, you work with the material you get: a junkie shoplifter with thirty-five previous convictions and four packs of Lidl's frozen chicken stuffed down his trousers is heading only one way.

Every day, like every criminal barrister in this country, Alex McBride stands up in court and, with nothing but quick-thinking, sharp-talking and his hard-won legal expertise, attempts to save people from criminal conviction, prison, even a lifetime behind bars. Sometimes he's had only a few hours to prepare his case. Sometimes his client is obviously guilty.

In this hilarious, heart-stopping memoir, he takes us behind the scenes of Britain's criminal justice system - in barristers' chambers, in the courtroom, in the cells and on the streets - introducing us to its outlandish personalities, arcane eccentricities and its many moving stories of triumph and defeat.

Whether he's defending hapless teenagers at Harlow Youth Court or prosecuting gold bullion robbers at the Bailey, his hair-raising tales reveal all the secrets of courtroom success and what it takes to survive in this chaotic world of fluked escapes and crushed hopes.

Throughout he attempts to answer that most important question: how do we ensure that the guilty are convicted and the innocent walk free?

Alex McBride is a criminal barrister. He is the author of the 'Common Law' column in Prospect magazine and has contributed to the New Statesman and various BBC programmes, including From Our Own Correspondent.

General Interest, Biography, Legal Humour
Part One: Basic Training
Middle Temple Lane
Meets the Clients
Saturday Court is the Party Court
Part Two: The Bear Pit
Low-quality Crime for Low-quality Advocates
The Unlikely Story of Trial by Jury
The Shelf of Dreams
Part Three: Proving the Case
Getting Past Half Time
The Evidential Burden
Identification: Id know him Among a Thousand
Disclosure: Friends in High Places
Playing the Odds
Part Four: Judgement
The Purple Lifeboat
Trusting the Jury
Doling it Out
Part Five: Change
Smoke in Your Eyes
Going Guilty
The Great Rebalancing