Pan Macmillan is publishing a book by anonymous legal blogger the Secret Barrister following a five-publisher auction.
The Law and How It's Broken: Stories of Crime and Punishment will publish in 2018. Jamie Coleman at Pan Macmillan bought UK Commonwealth rights from Chris Wellbelove at Greene & Heaton.
In the book, the candid anonymous writer behind the Secret Barrister blog, last year the recipient of The Comment Awards Independent Blogger of the Year Award, will share stories of one barrister’s experience at the Criminal Bar.
Seeking to answer some of the questions we have about both the system and the moral dilemmas of the law, it hopes not only to shine a light on some of the best and worst of humanity but also to force readers to think clearly about the system (one it says would never be off the front pages if the public knew what it was really like).
Pan Macmillan called it "a powerful inside story" and one that is particularly timely. Coleman said: “Whether it’s the ongoing fallout from Brexit and Article 50, or conversations around the latest super-injunction, it feels as if not a day goes by that some new area of general ignorance around the justice system is exposed. This book will be a passionate defence of the law, a clear-eyed analysis of how and why it’s broken, and an explanation of why we urgently need to start caring.”
The Secret Barrister said it was a "tragedy" how little the public knows about the legal system, drawing attention to a "consequent lack of accountability when things go wrong", and that it was their aim through the book to show why criminal justice is so important.
"I wanted to write a book to show the public what really goes on behind the courtroom door," said the author. "By writing about these problems from an insider's perspective, I hope to demonstrate to a non-legal audience why criminal justice is so important, and to illustrate what happens when we allow those in charge to chip away at our most basic freedoms. Anyone can be a victim of crime, and anyone can be wrongly accused of a crime. And you will want the system to work properly if that person is you. I am proud and delighted to be working with Macmillan, whose passion and vision for the project has been clear since the first day."