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Vol 22 No 11 Nov/Dec 2017

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The Law of Contract Damages

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Sitting in Judgment: The Working Lives of Judges


ISBN13: 9781849462396
Published: September 2011
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £40.00



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The public image of judges has been stuck in a time warp; they are invariably depicted, in the media – and derided in public bars up and down the country – as 'privately educated Oxbridge types', usually 'out of touch', and more often than not as 'old men'.

These and other stereotypes – the judge as a pervert, the judge as a right-wing Tory-voting monster – have dogged the judiciary long since any of them ceased to have any basis in fact. Indeed the limited research that was permitted in 1960s and 70s tended to reinforce several of these stereotypes.

Moreover, occasional high profile incidents in the courts, elaborated with the help of satirists such as Private Eye and Monty Python, have ensured that the 'old white Tory judge' caricature not only survives but has come to be viewed as incontestable.

Since the late 1980s the judiciary has changed, largely as a result of the introduction of training and new and more transparent methods of recruitment and appointment. But how much has it changed, and what are the courts like after decades of judicial reform?

Given unprecedented access to the whole range of courts – from magistrates' courts to the Supreme Court - Penny Darbyshire spent seven years researching the judges, accompanying them in their daily work, listening to their conversations, observing their handling of cases and the people who come before them, and asking them frank and searching questions about their lives, careers and ambitions. What emerges is without doubt the most revealing and compelling picture of the modern judiciary in England and Wales ever seen.

From it we learn that not only do the old stereotypes not hold, but that modern 'baby boomer' judges are indeed representative of the people they serve and that the reforms are working. But this new book also gives an unvarnished glimpse of the modern courtroom which shows a legal system under stress, lacking resources but facing an ever increasing case load.

This book will be essential reading for anyone wishing to know about the experience of modern judging, the education, training and professional lives of judges, and the current state of the courts and judiciary in England and Wales.

Subjects:
General Interest
Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Images of Judges
3. Where Do English and Welsh Judges Come From?
4. The First Step on the Ladder: Becoming a Part-time Judge
5. Becoming Her Majesty's Judge
6. Training
7. Judges'Working Personality
8. Criminal Business: District Judges in the Magistrates' Court
9. Criminal Business: Circuit Judges in the Crown Court
10. Judges and Juries
11. Civil Business in the County Court
12. Family Judges: The Patience of Job and the Judgment of Solomon
13. High Court Business
14. The Court of Appeal
15. Brenda and the Law Lords Transform into the Supremes
16. Judges on Judges
17. Tools of the Trade
18. The World of Judges from 2011