Brief tales from the Bench by Henry Cecil
Created: Mon Mar 22 16:49:13 2010 | Last modified: Mon Mar 22 16:49:13 2010
Brief Tales from the Bench is a short collection of stories from Henry Cecil - partly based on his own real-life experiences as a County Court Judge and partly fiction. He's indicated which stories are based on real cases and which are fiction at the end of the book.
Nevertheless, reality or fiction, these stories are light and humourous reading, giving a very unique perspective of Law as perceived by the Judges themselves. Almost all the stories involve twists of some kind and are definitely worthwhile reading. Almost always, though, Justice wins, whether by accident or not and gives the readers a great view of how witnesses conduct themselves and how they go about committing perjury - a serious crime - with hardly a thought as to its consequences. It also illustrates the difficulty of a Judge's job and how the truth can be far from straightforward in many cases. Henry Cecil certainly puts the readers on the side of justice though he makes no judgements (no pun intended) as to the characters involved. In many cases, the sympathy is plainly with the party which loses the case, even though he might definitely be in the wrong. That brings out some contradictions in Law and also how everything legal need not necessarily be acceptable morally.
Definitely a good read. Again, as part of my Henry Cecil series of reviews, I'd definitely add this to the collection of "must-haves."