Book Reviews

Justice for All and How to Achieve It
Citizens, lawyers and the law in the age of human rights~
Geoffrey Nice

ISBN: 978 1 78551 123 3
Size: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 400
Images: 26

UK £20 / US $25

  • A thought-provoking exploration of the world’s enduring legal and moral dilemmas
  • Based on a prestigious lecture series delivered by an internationally-renowned barrister

What is a crime against humanity and when should it be investigated? What does ‘human rights’ mean? Is law the new religion and are its high priests, the lawyers, really all bad? What is the role of the law in the regulation of sexual behaviour? Are there limits to what we can reasonably expect from international war crimes tribunals? These and many other crucial questions are explored with wit, panache and consummate even-handedness by Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC, in the series of lectures he delivered as Gresham Professor of Law from 2012 to 2016. Drawing on events from every continent and every period in history – from ancient Babylon to Britain on the brink of Brexit – and referencing icons from Cicero and Socrates, Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre, Joan Baez and Muhammad Ali – Sir Geoffrey applies his own wealth of experience to moral problems that are as pressing in today’s anxious world as they ever have been.

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Fifth Edition

General Editors: Patricia Londono, David Eady, Professor A T H Smith and Lord Eassie

ISBN:     978 0 41406 380 8


The Common Law Library



An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”

One of the most enduring aspects of the top level legal works is Sweet and Maxwell’s Common Law Library. It remains of the highest authoritative value as legal publications for the judiciary, lawyers and academics. If you want to identify where the law can be found on any major area of substantive importance look no further than this Library of books. And that remains the case with the new fifth edition of the Law of Contempt which first appeared in 1982.

The new edition appears some five years after its predecessor at a time of substantial technological change, particularly with regard to the role of the juror. As the editors write, “there has been a resurgence of interest in those who have in various ways by their actions undermined the integrity of trial by jury”. Therefore, the editors have included some most useful commentary on recent case law authorities both here and in Europe.

Of course, the temptations of the internet will remain as real concerns for the judiciary plus the ever present issues of human rights laws which are very well covered in the new edition which has incorporated all the supplements since the fourth edition.

We found the information on reform from the Law Commission enlightening, specifically their Reports on contempt No 335 covering the “dead letter” subject of “scandalising” (still with us apparently!).  Their report dealing with contempt on the face of the court has been delayed, but will presumably be resurrected for a future edition of this most impressive work. Fortunately we have useful commentary on the significant changes which affect both civil and criminal contempt, and coverage of Part 81 of the CPR.

The editors state that “open justice has been a continuing theme”, and this is especially so with family matters and the protection of journalists’ sources.  The text has been revised to include a number of new practice directions and other guidance which we found most useful.  They cover matters like access, reporting restrictions and the publication of judgments which will be of particular interest to many readers.

For the first time, more consideration is given to the access and availability of visual recordings at a time when IT is progressing at a very fast pace. The Preface to the book makes some important observations about visual access although it is, of course, confined to the higher courts at present. It is very clear that this area will require another visit for the next edition when the fourth industrial revolution really hits the legal world.

There is a final word of warning. Most proceedings we are involved in are slow moving and technical “so that there is little to hold the attention of the casual onlooker.” The advice (or approach) is that “the presence of cameras does not intrude upon or inhibit the court process”.  Therefore, rightly so, protection must be afforded to those who may not be able to cope so well with such distractions.  In essence, after the comments from experiences in the New Zealand courts, it will be a slow process of evolution… but probably inevitable.

A team of ten additional contributors make this new edition as complete as it can be and they, together with the editors, have made this work the definitive authority on contempt at a time of change; we cannot do our work as practitioners without these Common Law Library books so thank you all very much for what you have achieved here.

Date of publication   23rd May 2017.




Fourteenth Edition

General Editors: Madeline Cordes and John Pugh-Smith

ISBN:     978 0 41406 372 3



An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”

It is always well-worthwhile reading the new fourteenth edition of “Shackleton” which we have reviewed before – it never ceases to disappoint with its clarity and friendliness when facing an awkward meeting and its members. The editors and their five additional contributors hope that it remains “the authoritative source of information on the law and practice of meetings” and it is just that.

The new edition gives us a complete statement of the law with detailed practical guidance which we think will be of great benefit to all people involved at every level of meetings, from the beginner to the old hand.  The editors have included two new chapters covering what they call the increasing practice of holding “Virtual Meetings”, and “Charity Meetings”.  They also review new decision procedures in insolvency proceedings under the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016.

The purpose of this work remains as an essential reference guide.  It gives the sort of information which one finds necessary when preparing, conducting and closing a meeting. The range of users of this manual cover the every-day practice of legal professionals, company secretaries, administrators and clerks, directors, local authorities and really any organisation that holds formal meetings.

We were particularly impressed with the additional information for local authorities where meetings are the ever-present activity required to get things done in our liberal democracy.  Their procedures and practices do tend to overlap so we were delighted to see commentary on new case law authorities. The writing team have covered issues including bias, the delegated powers of officials (often quite substantial today), and access to information.  The procedural changes which have arisen from implementation of the Localism Act 2011 are also well covered.

It is not a long book at a modest 400 odd pages with 31 chapters and a detailed index which covers paragraph numbering rather than page numbering using Sweet and Maxwell’s Legal Taxonomy.  The footnotes are particularly useful and have been carefully limited to the detail which the editors (rightly) think meets the balance between a detailed legal text and what is useful for lay people.

We remain extremely grateful to Sweet and Maxwell and Thomson Reuters for continuing to publish these titles for us because it makes life just that much easier at a time when there are so many unrepresented parties involved in legal matters and we are all expected to have some form of legal expertise and knowledge (even if some of us don’t!).

Date of publication  1st July 2017.

The Lawyers Who Made America

From Jamestown to the White House

Anthony Arlidge QC

No other nation’s creation, both politically and socially, owes such a debt to lawyers as the United States of America. This book traces the story of that creation through the human lives of those who played important parts in it: amongst others, of English lawyers who established the form of the original colonies; of the Founding Fathers, who declared independence and created a Constitution; of Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Justices of the Supreme Court and finally Barack Obama. Even Richard Nixon features, if only as a reminder that even the President is subject to the law. The author combines his wide legal experience and engaging writing style to produce a book that will enthral lawyers and laymen alike, giving perhaps a timely reminder of the importance of the rule of law to American democracy.

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The Data Protection Officer
Profession, Rules, and Role
By Paul Lambert


About the Book

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation created the position of corporate Data Protection Officer (DPO), who is empowered to ensure the organization is compliant with all aspects of the new data protection regime. Organizations must now appoint and designate a DPO. The specific definitions and building blocks of the data protection regime are enhanced by the new General Data Protection Regulation and therefore the DPO will be very active in passing the message and requirements of the new data protection regime throughout the organization. This book explains the roles and responsibilities of the DPO, as well as highlights the potential cost of getting data protection wrong.

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Order in Court: Vol 2 of UK Barrister’s ‘Toby Potts’ Series Delivers Hilarious Verdict on Young Lawyer’s Life

Written by renowned Barrister, author and public speaker – David Osborne, ‘Order in Court: Volume 2 (Toby Potts)’ recounts the trials and tribulations of young Toby, as he graduates from Bar School and prepares for a glittering career of “legal fame”, or so he hopes. However, as Osborne and his comrades will admit, the rise to the top of the legal ladder requires grit, tenacity and a thick skin far beyond anything law school teaches. It makes for a side-splitting and intelligent read; sharply-witted and 100% accurate to the life of real-world lawyers. It’s no wonder one critic recently wrote, “It is good to read a book which is an excellent blend of accurate narrative and sound humour; David Osborne’s background as a successful barrister does much to add credence to the storyline which makes it all the more relaxingly readable”.


Toby Potts, fresh from Bar School, and clutching his graduation diploma, is a young, aspiring barrister, full of hopes and dreams and intent on becoming the leading criminal advocate of his time. He can hardly wait to get on his feet and impress the jury with his incisive cross-examination, his mastery of all things legal, and his spellbinding final speeches. Sadly, reality kicks in, and Toby finds the path to fame and fortune far from smooth and uneventful.

Chambers politics, strange clients, solicitors who come and go on a whim, and even stranger and eccentric judges, all have their part to play in Toby’s climb up the greasy pole. Moments of courtroom drama, and many more moments of high fiasco, mark Toby’s initiation into the heady world of the Criminal Bar. So much to learn, so little time. Will Toby succeed where so many have failed? He has the determination, he has the self-belief, but does he have what it takes to reach the pinnacle of the profession? Only time will tell. One thing is certain – never a dull moment! Why be ordinary, Toby was once told, if you have it in you to be extraordinary?

“The legal world is an arena unlike anything else on the planet, and those of us who stick it out and “make it” are left with experiences that live in the memory for years to come,” explains Osborne. “I wanted to write something unique, creative and funny, as well as remaining faithful to the cut and thrust of the courtroom drama.  Believe me, this reads like fiction – but it’s so close to real life!”

Continuing, “Initial reader feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and, with huge demand for the series to continue, I’m currently working on volume three. With a working title of ‘My Learned Friend’, Toby’s adventures in wig and gown are set to continue!”

As mentioned, reviews have been glowing. For example, one reviewer comments, “Buried amongst the humour and wit, however, are some keen insights into the legal world and class system.”

Ben Farrar adds, “Beautifully succinct writing and hysterical legal anecdotes.”

‘Order in Court: Volume 2 (Toby Potts)’ is available now:

For more information on the book and the author’s other endeavours, visit his official website:


I was somewhere else yesterday. Today I am here, and tomorrow I will be somewhere else again. By this action of yours my time is wasted perhaps more than yours, as I have to go a great deal further than you.

Joseph didn’t want to go to war. He wasn’t a conscientious objector, but neither was he garlanded with battle honours. He resembles none of our burnished archetypes and he isn’t the sort of man books are normally written about. He fought only because a military tribunal forced him to. That tribunal sat in Westminster, many miles away and it was led by the Marquess of Salisbury. The Westminster decision so enraged Josephs friends and neighbours that his own, local tribunal went on strike.

Drawing on legal records and vibrant newspaper reports of the time, Joseph, 1917 raises an interesting question  if you p ut a man in harms way then realise you made a mistake, shouldn’t you at least try to make amends? The book also offers some thoughts on tribunals and the law they applied and about the different ways they let Joseph down. But it is also interested in the events and characters of the time and the strange story of the place Joseph called home.

Joseph, 1917 is a book that is different in its subject and its scope from almost every other one published about the war and would serve as the perfect complement to those books. It combines several genres in which there is currently great interest  not only is it a military history, it is a life story and it contains a good deal of social history and even genealogy and legal and political history. It is likely to appeal not only to devotees of Richard Holmes, but also to people who enjoy Who Do You Think You Are? and The Secret History of My Family and to readers of History Today.

DAVID HEWITT is a lawyer and writer and, like some of the people in Joseph, 1917, he sits on judicial tribunals. He was born and brought up in the place in which the book is set and he is interested in the law and what it does to people. He is also interested in lost stories, especially those that shed fresh light on great events, and he enjoys bringing those stories back into the light.

PUBLISHED 28th February 2017
ISBN 9781785898976
Distributor: ´Orca Book Services. Tel: 01235 465521. Email:
BIC subject category : BGH  Biography: historical, political & military
Paperback 216×138 mm 288pp Portrait
please contact Alice Graham
Tel: 0116 279 2299 Email:
Troubador Publishing ltd, 9 Priory Business Park, Kibworth, Leicester LE8 0RX

Interpreting Evidence: Evaluating Forensic Science in the Courtroom, 2nd Edition
ISBN: 978-1-118-49248-2
216 pages
September 2016

Interpreting Evidence


This book explains the correct logical approach to analysis of forensic scientific evidence. The focus is on general methods of analysis applicable to all forms of evidence. It starts by explaining the general principles and then applies them to issues in DNA and other important forms of scientific evidence as examples. Like the first edition, the book analyses real legal cases and judgments rather than hypothetical examples and shows how the problems perceived in those cases would have been solved by a correct logical approach. The book is written to be understood both by forensic scientists preparing their evidence and by lawyers and judges who have to deal with it. The analysis is tied back both to basic scientific principles and to the principles of the law of evidence. This book will also be essential reading for law students taking evidence or forensic science papers and science students studying the application of their scientific specialisation to forensic questions.

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Animal Q.C. aka Gary Bell

By Hal Ian Brinton   Published 19 March, 2016

Gary Bell

Appointment to Queen’s Counsel is without a shadow of doubt the pinnacle hallmark of legal competency. Affectionately known as taking silk, many yearn for the title.. few seldom get it. Bar those granted the postnominals virtue of honoris causa, (Leeds did exceptionally well this year by the way), its recipients must be practising lawyers of spectacular eminence. As the author of this truly unique book demonstrates, 20 years of graft sounds about right, give or take a year here or there. But why ‘Animal’, you might wonder?

Well In the case of Gary Bell, born and raised in the city where the ‘No 1’ team sports Garibaldi red, the same city misrepresented as the gun crime capital of England and Wales, this recognition alone does suffice in conveying the significance of his achievements. Some by circumstance have to work harder than others. As any reader will learn, and undoubtedly enjoy doing so for the reasonable price of £8.99, this story goes beyond the validation of legal intellect, far beyond! It is perhaps more accurate to describe Gary’s journey as a rollercoaster steeplechase with intermittent foreign adventures, and brushes with the law – all hurling towards the highest echelons of British society. Finally a book to stand on par with Herman Hesse’s ‘Steppenwolf’. Did I mention that the author was a former Homeless Drifter, Fork Lift Driver and self confessed Pork Pie Maker (amongst other things)?

Son of a proud miner, ill – tempered and ruthlessly old fashioned, the childhood expressed in ‘Animal Q.C.’ can easily bring a tear to the eye, toys were certainly few but that didn’t stop Gary. A man on a mission. One prevailing theme throughout is that it’s not what you haven’t got that counts but how you make good use of what you do have. As the Q.C. has said on record:

‘It’s a book about aspiration really, rather than anything else.’

In the opening chapter we are given an exposition of the post war state of the St Ann’s district in Nottingham. The area was condemned a ‘slum’ in the 1960s and 70s. Gary rightly explains that the financial hardships endured by his family were hardly novel. Many people lived hand to mouth and cockroach infestations were a reluctantly accepted norm. Yet despite these challenges, people as people do, survived, no doubt with the help of one another. It seems that happiness and purpose in St Anne’s at the time was forged through a seemingly unbreakable community spirit, a rarer thing nowadays perhaps. Still to this day though, you can hear the distinctive cries of the rag and bone men in certain districts of Nottingham city. No more horse and cart however; they have gone for good. It’s cars and microphones now.

The circumstance of Gary’s mother, Maureen, an avid reader and to whom the book is dedicated is equally capable of rousing feelings of pathos in the reader. She rarely left the house, and by convention, gave way from the opportunities that life may have afforded, to the frankly patriarchal ‘back breaking’ servitude required of many a mother in those days.

One description of how Gary’s father Terrance would flick cigarette ash on the floor for Maureen to clean up is however, particularly telling. There is a saying amongst some that ‘ash stops the carpet from growing’. Irrespective of what one thinks of that, Terrance’s conduct quite simply amounts to contempt and control, undoubtedly perpetuating 19th century attitudes towards women that are redolent of female servitude and Gary is understandably quick to note it. One could comment that new ideas have come in since, but in reality we all know that the pecking order is still evident, it just depends on how one decides to implement it. Perhaps that is why some choose to get away; explore and embark upon their own journey.

On education the book’s observations are equally relevant. Schools then, much like today can be a dire experience for some, even without the corporal punishment. Life can be ruthless!

A natural intelligence however saw the future Q.C. pass his 11+ examination with flying colours. The reward? A rightly deserved scholarship at Nottingham Boys’ Private High School, the same institution that the likes of D.H. Lawrence had attended.

Gary was not to realise such an opportunity, however. A culmination of ‘political dogma’ and his father’s ‘lack of interest in education’ soon saw him being found a place at Toot Hill Comprehensive, something the author honourably declines to decry. In fact, he writes with clarity and integrity when he says that he would have undoubtedly ‘trodden a more conventional path’ had he attended the High School – perhaps to the extent that he would not have written ‘Animal Q.C.’, thank heavens then, that he didn’t go! Laughs aside though, something worthy of mention and one that the author humbly omits is that such scholarships are far from doled out ‘willy nilly’ in order to satisfy some ‘underprivileged’ quota. Only those with the highest grades at County level are afforded such chances. Ask The Rt. Hon Kenneth Clarke Q.C. MP. – .he’ll tell you!

Beyond school, Gary like so many who had been reliably informed that they were only good for menial labour was jettisoned circumstantially into the world of tedious and repetitive work. It is as the author states, ‘a terrible scandal’ and one which perhaps prevails to this day and dictates which type of employment supposedly befits working class children. He does right in exposing it and in fact has recently written a ‘Guardian’ piece commenting on Social Mobility and University Tuition Fees. Clearly the book is full of hard seen and insightful description regarding the status quo of British society. His observations however, on the working classes as cannon fodder for imperial conquest is particularly thought provoking. It’s hard not to agree!

Whilst in the world of intellectually dissatisfying work, Gary like many a young working class man is drawn into the seductive and dangerous world of football violence. Coach trips for the away games, supplemented by lager, and ‘Mr Kipling Bakewell’ tarts is certainly one way to feel purposeful. It touches a nerve though at the roots of British sensibilities and cannot be overlooked. It is a reality! Illegality aside, the sound morality of Gary and some of the other men is evident when sharing equal disgust for the behaviour of the so called ‘ferret’ who attacks a helpless child. There is a strong omniscient sense that this life is not for Gary, and as a reader you can’t help but think ‘mate you’re too smart to be getting caught up in this’, but again it is circumstance permitting. Time to travel.

There is a quintessentially British sense of fair play within the narrative; the German escapade concerning a British Garrison and a ‘Day-Glo’ tent is humorous, albeit frightening for the participants. You literally could not make this stuff up and if you did, few would believe you. A great shame and no surprise to many!

At times ‘Animal Q.C.’ reads like a John King novel – the difference being that one is fiction and one very evidently fact. It is here that we learn just how remarkable Gary’s story really is and how very easily things could have descended into an irreversible inferno. Aptly quoting Rutger Hauer’s android in BLADE RUNNER ‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe’ Gary gets it right when asserting ‘its been a preposterous life’. It has and that is all the more reason to tell it. Incidentally, those familiar with the quote may know that Hauer actually improvised part of the monologue. He literally wrote his own script, much like Gary has by taking back control of his life by drafting his own brief. Inspirational!

Extraordinary foreign escapades, and a tragic incident in which Gary’s life could ‘have gone very differently’ sees the author fulfilling what to the reader seems like destiny. I would have pigeon –holed him for philosophy though, but to our surprise and of course to much joy of those he has represented, Gary decided upon a law degree. Champion debater, mingling with high society and finding love in the right place; one can’t help but think that his is a work of fiction, but actually, it’s not. Like many of the greats, Gary has achieved something that all humans have the ability to do, but few realise that they can, and that is quite simply being the best that they can be. The first step is saying ‘No, I refuse to have my life dictated by circumstance.’ This is surely an example of the great British pride coming to the fore. Success has no limits – it evolves like a creature borne to survive – much like our judicial system no doubt!

What lies ahead for Gary in the future? some might ask. Well, as a mere reader, I could not possibly comment. It is beyond predictive theory much like his life. Denning had to go through war before becoming a member of the judiciary; arguably Gary already has – and what a better person for it!

So how one might wonder does the man from St Anne’s, ‘known to the law’, with insatiable appetite for football achieve that which the Bar Councils Kalisher report termed ‘the badge of the eminent and successful barrister’ ? The answer, skill, a strong moral compass, friends and a dogged determination.

Any why ‘Animal’ you might again enquire ? Well for that you will have to read it for your bloomin’ self!


An Honest Man by Simon Michael

Criminal lawyer Simon Michael draws inspiration from some of his own cases to create this gripping legal drama series.

About The Book


Charles Holborne is back and his life is in ruins. Although acquitted of the murder of his wife (in The Brief – the first in the series of Charles Holborne adventures), the damage done to his reputation has left his barrister’s practice in tatters. Charles may have escaped the hangman by proving he was framed, but now he’s alone, in debt and in need of a break. Then, out of the blue, the biggest brief of his career unexpectedly lands in his lap; it looks like he’s been thrown a lifeline. But far from keeping him afloat, the case drags him ever deeper into the shadowy underworld of the sleazy side of London in the 1960s. An Honest Man explores what happens when Charles come into contact with major-league villains including the Kray brothers, with whom, in truth, he feels more at ease than he does his professional colleagues…

Charles finds himself drawn into a world of violence, gang warfare, corruption and vice, where it is no longer only his reputation at stake, but his very life.

Simon Michael appeared at CRIMEFEST, the International Crime Fiction Convention in May, 2016, Bristol, UK (

 About The Author

Simon Michael was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1978. Since then he has spent many years prosecuting and defending criminal cases and in doing so has dealt with a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy.


Simon is an avid story teller; in truth he has been all his life. In 1989 he published his first novel and after a further 25 years of legal experience he now has plenty of plot ideas.The Brief was the first in a series of Charles Holborne adventures, and An Honest Man builds on the success and popularity garnered by book one. Inspired by Old Bailey cases and court documents, the story explores how easy it can be to find yourself turning to crime when playing a game with corrupt police officers, warring gangs and top-level career criminals. Four children, two divorces and lots of therapy meant Simon Michael spent the next 20 years in full-time practice as a lawyer, but in 2016 he retired from the Bar to devote himself to full-time writing. Simon is a founder member of the Ampthill Literary Festival and lives in Bedfordshire.


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