I thought this book ‘Under The Wig: A Lawyer’s Stories of Murder, Guilt and Innocence’ by William Clegg QC was really good (and I was impressed at how a lawyer can write so well and in such an engaging manner) till I got to the Acknowledgements at the back where, on page 278, William Clegg acknowledges his “ghost writer” – a John Troup a.k.a “Troupy”. Wait… whatttt? I do think that Troupy should be acknowledged on the cover of the book or at least within the pages immediately after. (@_@) It could have been stated “William Clegg QC with John Troup”, right?
In any case, like I’ve said, it’s a really good read. Besides being written for the average layperson, barristers themselves will enjoy chapters such as “How to Become a QC”, “Winning the Trust of a Judge”, “How to Appeal to a Jury”, etc. The case studies are illuminating and certainly eye-opening. There are some things I’ve never heard of before, such as earprints being admitted as evidence. I know of fingerprints, but earprints? Seriously?
And here is one lawyer, a QC or Queen’s Counsel no less, who thinks the wig is “ridiculous”. Yes! I think so too! 😀
Things we may not agree on would be ones such as the death penalty – his argument about miscarriages of justice is valid but still… is it even possible to keep everyone imprisoned until such time that technological advances allow us to prove beyond any and all reasonable doubt that the person is either 100% guilty or 100% innocent? If there is sufficient evidence, and the jury concurs, then why not proceed with the death penalty like in SG (we don’t have a jury, I know that)? If the argument is that every life is precious and the law cannot, and must never(!), allow for an innocent person to be hanged after being erroneously found guilty, then…
Stop complaining about the budget for legal aid cases. Why would you not take up a case simply because it doesn’t pay as well as your regular cases / commercial clients? In the book, the author claims it is because the other experts whom he has to rope in to assist on the case would need to be paid their fees as well. O…K. But if every life is so precious, and you’re going to wax lyrical about how miscarriages of justice persist till this very day, then try not to sound hypocritical when you confess you don’t take as many legal aid cases anymore ‘cos the budget’s been on a decline and you wish it’s back to what it was a decade ago. I’m not asking lawyers to work pro bono all the time (need to eat, right?), but if they claim to be in this profession because of some noble reasons then hey, do what you can whenever you can, ok? If you keep wanting to compare your salaries with that of other professions, then go join those, seriously.
At the end of the day, I don’t know if William Clegg QC can call himself an author. If the book was written by someone else, even if it is about this QC’s life and career, it would fall into the category of being a biography, no? But if you’re simply looking for a good read, then we won’t have to quibble over who actually wrote this book. #justsaying