Book on legal crisis to be sent to all MPs

Book on legal crisis to be sent to all MPs

A crowdfunding campaign has raised £12,000 to send a book on the crisis in the legal system to every sitting MP.

A copy of The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken by an anonymous legal blogger (Pan Macmillan) will be sent to all 650 members of the House of Commons following an appeal from the Criminal Bar Association and Young Legal Aid Lawyers to "help shine a light [on the] broken legal system".

The campaign has raised almost £12,000 towards a £25,000 target and reached its initial goal of £10,000 in just three days.

The campaign organisers said: "It is critical that our elected representatives have a clear understanding of the crisis the Criminal Justice System is facing. There can be no excuses if the facts are delivered directly to every MP."  

According to the Guardian, the blogger behind the book, known as The Secret Barrister, is “thrilled and somewhat overwhelmed” at the response.

“A large part of the problem with criminal justice is how little the public know and understand about its esoteric workings and its troubling deficiencies,” the barrister said. “So I’m particularly glad to have heard from so many members of the public who have read the book and been shocked at learning the reality of criminal justice at the coalface. The message to MPs we have been trying to get across for some time is clear. The criminal justice system is on its knees.”

The Secret Barrister has pledged to donate their royalities from the copies sent to the MPs to charity, and publisher Pan Macmillan has pledged to match the royalities raised.

Jamie Coleman, acquiring editor at Pan Macmillan, said: “What we have seen from the immediate response is that this is a story everyone cares deeply about.

“When we heard our author was donating their royalties on the copies for the MPs to charity, it felt only right to match their contribution and do our bit to jointly support the barristers and solicitors that work long hours to keep the system going, especially by offering pro bono services.”