Reviews

Book review: The Supreme Court — A Guide for Bears, by Isobel Williams

The UK Supreme Court welcomes visitors from all over the world. But, says the blurb on the back of this delightful book by artist and blogger Isobel Williams, one important audience has been overlooked: bears. So they have produced their own guide, which is reviewed here by Paul Magrath.

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Book review: Calling down the storm, by Peter Murphy

“Judge not, lest ye be judged” goes the Biblical saying. But what happens when the judge himself is under suspicion? This is the awful prospect facing a recently appointed High Court judge in Peter Murphy’s absorbing new courtroom thriller, Calling Down the Storm.

In the pages of this novel, notorious historical figures like Lord Lucan rub shoulders with the complex characters of Murphy’s fictional legal world: the clients and lawyers, the police and expert witnesses, and above …

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Victims or Villains – is the freedom of the press under threat?

Guest post by Dr Julie Doughty, who teaches media law at Cardiff University Law School, reporting on a recent debate on the future of press regulation.

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Book review: Evidence in Family Proceedings by David Burrows

In a series of posts on this blog, author David Burrows has been examining the impact on family law and practice of reported cases arising in other areas of law. Now Iain Large reviews his recently published book, Evidence in Family Proceedings, and welcomes a valuable new entry into a busy marketplace.

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Book review: Mr Justice McCardie (1869-1933) – Rebel, Reformer, and Rogue Judge

Antony Lentin’s life of Henry Alfred McCardie, published in the centenary year of his appointment to the High Court Bench, offers a fascinating portrait of a judicial figure whose reforming judgments have stood the test of time rather better than some of the public pronouncements that brought him fame and notoriety in his own day.  Review by Paul Magrath

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Justice Online: just as good? Joshua Rozenberg on the online court

Giving the first of three annual talks on the creation of the online court, Joshua Rozenberg painted an optimistic vision of a future in which civil litigation would become fast, efficient and affordable to all. Surveying the chequered history of courts modernisation over the last 30 years, he explained why it was hoped this particular government IT project would succeed where so many others seemed to have failed. The talk was largely drawn from Joshua’s recent e-book, The Online …

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Book review: The Modern Judge by Sir Mark Hedley

Based on a series of public lectures given in 2015, this little gem of a book on the modern art of judging should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in law and the judicial system. As a former High Court and before that circuit judge, Sir Mark Hedley brings to his reflections a vast experience of criminal, civil and especially family cases. His observations on his role as a judge are timely and illuminating. Review by Paul …

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Brexit: what the hell happens now? Book review

The Brexit vote took the nation by surprise. For those who voted to Leave, exiting from the EU can’t happen fast enough. But few seem to appreciate what is actually involved in achieving this. Ian Dunt’s book examines the options and implications, and makes clear that the referendum result was only the start of a long period of discussions, negotiations, decisions and agreements which will take years, if not decades, to conclude. Review by Paul Magrath.

Brexit: what the …

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Rillington Place — Psycho-Pathé News meets Dr Stranglelove

The BBC’s three-part dramatisation of the tale of one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers was creepily authentic in its characterisation and atmosphere, but the mini-series left more questions than answers, says Paul Magrath in this review.

Here’s something a bit spooky. Some years ago, a friend of mine who lives in Notting Hill attempted to get a taxi home to her flat. The driver took her to the entrance to the road, …

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Book review: The Heirs of Owain Glyndŵr by Peter Murphy

Paul Magrath reviews a mesmerising new courtroom thriller in which Peter Murphy’s ambitious barrister hero Ben Schroeder takes on a challenging case involving a Welsh nationalist bomb plot. All the details of barristerial life, the rules of ethics and evidence, and the courtroom procedure appropriate for the 1960s period setting are pitch perfect. Yet is also raises very contemporary questions about the roots of radicalism, the motivation for terrorism and the conduct of the security services in combatting it.

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