English Legal System (Nutshells series, 5th edition, 2001) by Penny Darbyshire.
It occurred to me that one field I'm pretty ignorant about is Law. I don't think I've ever read a non-fiction law book, and there's only so much you can learn from Rumpole. So I went to the law shelves in Acton Central Library hoping to find "Law For Dummies" or something. Most of the books were pretty specialized and pretty hefty though. The slimmest book on law in general was this one.
It turns out to be a kind of undergraduate law student study guide. It actually works reasonably well to give you an overview of the system. It's pretty basic and just-the-facts though, doesn't put things into much context. So, it's hard to retain much of the content based on this.
One thing it stresses is that the media portrayals of justice aren't very representative. Soliciters far outnumber barristers. Most cases are dealt with in magistrates courts. Only about 1% of cases are tried by juries.
Apparently there's no particular tendency for juries to be more likely to acquit. Higher courts are more likely to acquit than magistrates courts, but also hand down harsher sentences, so you're not necessarily better off.
Overall, somewhat informative but probably works best in its original role as a study guide. This version may already be a bit dated.
Socioeconomics. German slowdown could be good for Europe. Britain must escape its longest recession (click on FT story to avoid registration). Gender identity and competition. Men, women and spatial intelligence.
Politics. Anti-EDL demo assembly point for Saturday.
Article. New UK passport.
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