barrister, court, justice, lawyer

can you really miss the courtroom?


Why do I kind of have this nagging feeling that NGE will suffer increasing withdrawal symptoms the longer he is  absent from the court room. Yes, true. Can you believe it?  In fact I know he does, even now.  He’ll never retire from the law. Nor will I stop.  Both of us love the challenge of legal practice especially criminal defence.  What would we do otherwise?

The thing with NGE is this: the man has basically spent his whole life in & around the criminal law courts. True.  Indeed, this image below is how I might ‘see’ him at the end of our first sojourn . . . starving, yearning, pining for the court room, missing the criminal courts, ultimately rendering him a mere skeleton!





Trouble with NGE is that he started as a young police prosecutor many years ago. Eventually, he ‘jumped the fence’ & became a criminal defence barrister.

Thing is, there is a gap, a huge difference in fact, between what the prosecutor does & what the criminal defence lawyer does. As a prosecutor, your first focus is always on the person’s last act, the unlawful act of the accused, the crime itself.

Compare that to a defence lawyer where one has to start at the beginning even before the client was born sometimes & if it becomes relevant (e.g. family history).  The defence lawyer is delving into, reconstructing the client’s life, his/her start in life, background, culture, the psycho-social & environmental factors in trying to explain his/her behaviour.






A defence lawyer’s work is much more difficult & time consuming than a Prosecutors.

NGE is all consumed by his work. There is no other life. Nothing else matters. Nobody.  Criminal defence lawyering can be hard on relationships, on family. Because I have spent a good part of my life around the criminal courts in the USA & here in Australia (indeed NGE & I met through the courts) I am intimately conversant with NGE’s work.

But I’ve also made a point of taking time out & away from the up & down roller coaster ride of working with those caught up in the maw of the criminal justice system. NGE is yet to learn to do this & understand that there is another life out there.  Sadly he doesn’t seem to need anything other than the criminal  law courts.

Our France project was also designed to open his eyes to the other side of life away from the law Courts ⚖  But will he go? I doubt it.




Fingers crossed he gets out of the shuttered ‘world’ criminal law he occupies to see what’s outside.



Leave a Reply