When things get tough – you can always have a go at the lawyers!

Here’s a couple of jokes to get you going.

“What’s the difference between a lawyer and a liar? – the pronunciation.”

“How can you tell a lawyer is lying? – his lips are moving.”

Like all jokes, there may be a particle of truth there somewhere – and certainly defence lawyers in criminal trials are paid to present the most favourable side of their client’s case – but do they “lie”.

Well, they don’t or, at least didn’t when I practised as a  barrister some years ago .As far as I was concerned, there was a basic rule of thumb.

If my client told me that he was guilty, I would never assert to any court that he/she was in fact innocent.

However, if he told me he was not guilty then it was my duty, to put his case forward to a court in the strongest terms possible. It isn’t for a barrister to decide the facts of a case: That’s the responsibility of the jury.

Even in those circumstances, a barrister doesn’t have to assert that his client is innocent. All he needs to do under our criminal justice system is to submit that the prosecution haven’t made out their case to the required standard of proof – a very high one – beyond reasonable doubt.

I don’t think I can put it better than Charlie does, in my novel Wig Begone by Charles Courtley. At page 174, his client has put forward a ludicrous and implausible defence to a charge of robbery  but –

“as these were his instructions, (he) was required to act on them. Where the truth lies is never defence counsel’s responsibility because under our adversarial system, it is for the prosecution to prove a defendant’s guilt not for the latter to prove his innocence.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: