Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve
Fake Law opens with astonishing examples of the vagaries of recent legal outcomes. Courts in the UK had ruled that babies afflicted with rare medical conditions could not be kept alive on life support because their treatment would be exorbitant to the NHS, according to media reports. News outlets also reported that a criminally convicted refugee would not be deported because his pet cat depended on him. The message repeatedly amounts to the belief that the law does not work for you….
Cases such as these, and others, receive fierce and impassioned attention from the community at large. This book sets about examining the law and thoroughly investigates facts around cases that dominate debate and often spawn ideas rooted in ‘fake law’.
The barrister cites incidents of burglary when the householder has used extreme measures if his house is invaded. Sometimes death of the lawbreaker/s ensues. The law, as stated in the book, allows this extreme use of defence, if it is convinced that there was a belief that force was necessary and that the force employed was reasonable.
Events such as this, when an Englishman acts violently to defend his castle, are often the subject of media outcry should the verdict go against the defendant. The law was clarified in 2013 in order to strengthen the householder’s right to greater protection against intruders. It balances the two principles of respect for life and the right to take life.
The situations surrounding terminally ill infants with no prospect of any quality of life, which are subjected to High Court rulings removing life support, are even more controversial.
Three infants, in particular Charlie Gard, whose lives were ended by court decision, were supported internationally by demonstrations, funding movements, vitriolic media and interventions by Pope and President. The law considers the best interest of the child. This is the paramount consideration. Frequently this is overwhelmed by responses from the world at large.
We learn that the dominant mainstream and social media narrative was almost completely wrong, especially in little Charlie’s case; yet it concluded with ALL interested parties in agreement. This occurred after extensive international medical examination and MRI scans. At every stage, it is clear from studying all the relevant data, that the final decision was solidly based on his BEST INTERESTS, irrespective of medical arguments.
All the material surrounding these children’s plight was thoroughly examined by The Barrister. This is very detailed but easily grasped by the layman.
Next, he exposes the compensation culture with its outrageous payouts, grasping claimants and avaricious lawyers. Usually this is for the most trivial and often self- inflicted ailments.
From early medieval times, citizens could be compensated for the injury caused by the unlawful acts of others. Today, for various reasons, especially in the USA, it has become out of control. The law is riddled with complexities in this area, so it is impossible to simply state the rights of the citizen. However, he may have a cause to claim if there has been a breach of duty of care, or professional negligence has occurred. Whiplash is the most common complaint and The Barrister gives a detailed account of this minefield.
The work place produces countless activities which result in legal action. Farcical cases are related. A man sued for damages after a note he called racist was displayed in the workplace. He wanted 70,000 pounds compensation. Unfair dismissal cases are now weighed up as being unreasonable or not, rather than unfair.
In Britain, there exists the fourteen articles which list basic human rights. Law in Australia recognises these but they are not set out in a Human Rights act as in Britain. It remains highly controversial there.
There follow chapters on Access to Justice, Our Liberty, Equality and Due Process. Finally, there is Democracy. All are extensively regarded. There is no room to evaluate them in this review, alas, as they are deserved of attention.
As the contents of the chapters denote, it is generally accepted that the law is in place to protect a country’s citizens from criminal offences.
This book is an outstanding contribution to educate us to be aware of our position in various common areas of law infringement. It is done with admirable authority, insight and clarity. It clearly dispels much of the erroneous and misleading attitudes and information peddled by media and activists who are spurred on by motives other than the purely legal.
Although it focuses on the British system, our code springs from that source, so is relevant to a great extent.
Laws are in place to protect and ensure a citizen lives peacefully, enjoying the rights he deserves. Knowledge and appreciation of this invaluable aspect of life in the West is contained in the pages of Fake Law. It combats ignorance and misinformation which has the potential to undermine the justice system. Therefore, the Secret Barrister provides a valued service and for this deserves our sincere gratitude.
FAKE LAW: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies
by The Secret Barrister
ISBN. 9 781529 009958
386 pages. $34.99