Perverting the course of justice

“I really don’t know what to do.” It was one of the third six pupils today as he turned to OldSmoothie for advice.

“How can I help?” he replied in a somewhat disingenuous caring sharing type of voice.

“I think my client was lying and we still won.”

OldSmoothie burst out laughing. “Young man, if we worried every time we perverted the course of justice we’d be worrying twenty-four seven. Victories against all the evidence are the best of the lot. It’s the mark of a good barrister.”

“Or a lucky one,” said TheCreep.

“It’s funny,” said BusyBody, “but I always tend to believe my clients within about ten minutes of meeting them. I kind of get myself into the role. A bit like I imagine method actors might do.”

“I know what you mean,” said TheCreep. “It’s like some sort of transference and however good or bad my client, I almost always feel a real sense of indignation when they start to be cross-examined.”

“I find it’s easier to assume they’re all lying,” said TheVamp. “That way you don’t feel stressed out about the possibility of one of them losing when they’re actually telling the truth.”

“Anyway, it just doesn’t feel right,” said the pupil. “In the few cases I’ve done, I’ve always told my clients that the truth will out. Except today it didn’t. Justice most certainly wasn’t done or even seen to be done.”

“Truth? Justice? What are you? A vexatious litigant?”

“Or maybe a politician defending some allegation or other?” said HeadofChambers.

“Which could well be the same thing,” said TheBusker.

“Anyway, no-one else deals in those terms, least of all barristers. We’re specifically paid a premium in order to twist these things our client’s way.”

“But you can’t mislead the court,” said TheCreep.

“Oh and that makes such a big difference in a system governed by nods, winks and blind eyes,” said OldSmoothie. “But hey, whatever justifications you want to give yourselves, it’s fine by me.”

“To be fair, it might be a flawed system but it’s better than any others I can think of,” said UpTights.

Then OldRuin stepped in and said, “And if both sides do their jobs properly and fight tooth and nail for their client’s interests, you never know but just occasionally, that elusive thing called justice might even rise from the dirty mix that’s been created.”

“Now there’s a thing,” smiled TheBusker.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

July 22, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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