press release
Published: 11 May 2018

Is our criminal justice system debatable?

The University of Surrey’s School of Law is presenting a panel discussion focusing on problems with the UK’s criminal justice system.

The scales of justice blindfolded
Credit: Getty

Key issues were recently brought to light in the controversial book The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken. The book’s author (whose identity remains a closely guarded secret) provides a darkly funny account of all that is broken and inefficient in the UK criminal justice system. It claims the courts in England and Wales have been brought to their knees by government cuts and left plagued by daily errors, leaving many aspects of the court system no longer fit for purpose.

We want to maintain the momentum that the book has built and use the panel discussion to engage our students and the broader community in a healthy discussion on these important topics.

Dr Alex Sarch, Reader in Philosophy

Dr Alex Sarch, Reader in Legal Philosophy at the University of Surrey and event organiser, said: “The book has triggered a lot of awareness and activity, perhaps most notably the creation of a crowdfunding campaign raising money to send every MP in Parliament a copy of the book. This comes at the same time as barristers are striking over further cuts to Legal Aid."

The panel is composed of industry professionals including Yvonne Kramo, Criminal Barrister, Anna Renou, Crime Solicitor, Penelope Gibbs, CEO of Transform Justice and Surrey’s own Nicholas Clapham, Teaching Fellow in the School of Law.

Dr Sarch said: “We see the panel discussion as a platform to show how simple inefficiencies routinely lead to serious injustice for individual lives, and we hope to generate some discussion about what might be done in response to the problems we face.”

The panel discussion will take place on 15 May at 6pm in the University of Surrey’s Frank Whittle Building. The debate will then be followed by Q&A and a drinks reception. For those wishing to attend the event, please contact Dr Sarch for more information.

Read more about the University of Surrey’s School of Law and the events we hold.

Take a look at some recent press coverage on The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken.

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