July 3, 2008

New British Legal Drama Causes Comment

A new British legal drama is causing a whirlwind of commentary among barristers. Peter Moffat's Criminal Justice debuted Monday, and immediately caused debate for what some members of the bar consider its indictment of the legal system. An article in the Guardian documents the reactions that some lawyers have to the week-long series. In particular, the head of the Bar Council, "Timothy Dutton QC, has taken a dim view of the way barristers in the programme, particularly in the second episode, are portrayed as underhand, unprincipled and overly aggressive." Mr. Moffat, who also wrote the wonderful series Kavanagh QC for John Thaw (Morse), replied, "It is about time the Bar faced the fact that like every other profession it has brilliant and fair-minded practitioners, those of average ability, and the violent, dishonest and stupid all working within it." Ouch. Seriously.

Read more reviews and discussion in The Independent, The Times, and the Mirror.

Here's a clip.

I certainly hope the BBC exports Criminal Justice to the US soon, or else makes it available on VHS or DVDs. Yes, I still buy tapes, when I can get them. I continue to be unhappy with what I consider to be the relatively high rate of defective DVDs that I encounter: they're unplayable ("disc error"); or the disc skips or stalls, or the images are distorted from time to time. These discs are EXPENSIVE, and store return policies can be difficult.

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