I wish to recommend Garrow's Law to you. It's an English TV series inspired by the life of maverick barrister William Garrow, who worked in the Old Bailey in Georgian London. It's awesome. Each episode is based on legal cases taken from court transcripts, which are now online. The episodes can be watched on YouTube, or check out the Garrow's Law comm for more viewing links. There are two series so far, each with four hour-long episodes. It's a nail-biting historical courtroom drama with a social conscience and a romantic thread running through it, the whole thing sprinkled with more than a pinch of humour.
The historical Garrow was a very interesting man. He pioneered cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, refused to defend slavers, attempted to pass legislation to condemn animal cruelty, and introduced the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty.' Garrow's Law deals with cases of infanticide, sodomy, state oppression, sexual assault, corruption, theft, high treason, and even a case in which over a hundred slaves were thrown overboard as part of an insurance scam to claim compensation for the loss of 'cargo' by the owners of a slave ship.
Mark Pallis, the former barrister who acts as the legal and historical consultant on the series, blogs about the cases on which the series is based and contributes to the official BBC website. The Guardian says the "The court scenes are fabulous... William Garrow is my new hero. If the law was an ass (and it certainly was), then he whupped it, big time." in their review, one of many positive ones.
So, there you go! I hope you try it, and if you do, I hope you enjoy it.
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- Garrow's Law
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