Some Experiences of a Barrister’s Life: Curious and Famous Trials

by Serjeant William Ballantine

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Life is a wonderfully meandering path, as is the story told in Some Experiences of a Barrister’s Life. In this autobiographical work, Serjeant Ballantine focuses on his professional career, detailing interesting cases he had a hand in, which ranged the gamut from gambling houses, strange accidents, murder, and even bizarre hairdressing incidents. Ballantine includes details of his relationship with fellow colleagues, reflections on the curiosities of the legal system, and offers a great overview of British criminal justice at the turn of the century. He ruminates about how to better the courts, and although this work is over a century old, it still offers points to consider for improving criminal justice systems around the world.