This is the book that many of us have been waiting and calling for over the last few years. There has always been a tendency for the media and politicians to put out wildly inaccurate reports on legal matters. But it has certainly got far worse in the last few years. This has led to the creation of two parallel worlds – the one inhabited by working lawyers and judges and the one built by those who loudly promote ill-informed nonsense – Fake Law.

The Secret Barrister looks at some of the worst excesses and forensically takes them apart. Here are just a few…

She* looks at the tragic cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans where there was disagreement between the parents and the treating doctors about whether to continue medical care. Both led to hysterical reporting which in turn drove groups of protestors to take direct action. There were even politicians in the USA talking about death panels in order to promote their own health care agenda. The Secret Barrister carefully explains the duty of the court and the critical importance of the welfare of the two children.

Other myths are similarly confronted. She explains the purpose of Personal Injury compensation – often to secure basic care. So, behind the media noise about a cleaner getting £9k for falling over a mop is a worker who has suffered an injury serious enough to merit that level of award.

The most powerful section, for me is where we look at the controversial topic of Human Rights which is the subject of outrageously inaccurate reporting. When Theresa May bemoaned that someone could not be deported because of their human rights she ended with – ‘The illegal immigrant who cannot be deported because – and I am not making this up – he had a pet cat.’ It turns out that she was in fact making it up. He did have a pet cat, but it was nothing to do with the decision. In fact human rights are our rights and their importance to all of us is rarely mentioned.

Don’t even get me started on legal aid!

The law is distant and complex to many. It does lend itself to false reporting and misunderstanding. This book is the most important counterbalance that I have seen. My only regret is that the book will mainly be read and praised by lawyers – most of whom do not need to be persuaded. Will it be read by reporters and ministers? I will certainly be sharing it as widely as possible and hope that others to the same.

*The Secret Barrister is anonymous. I use ‘she’ because I imagine a woman’s voice when I am reading the books. No other reason!

This review is now available on Amazon at