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Lights, camera, action at the UK Bar

Lights, camera, action at the UK Bar

TELEVISION IS saturated with legal dramas but now the BBC is working on a documentary series that will follow the careers of real barristers in the UK. The six-part documentary — to be…

TELEVISION IS saturated with legal dramas but now the BBC is working on a documentary series that will follow the careers of real barristers in the UK.

The six-part documentary — to be produced by BBC2 with financial support from the Open University — will follow the career paths of a number of students, pupils and barristers in an attempt to detail the reality of life as a barrister.

The program is headed by producer Lynn Barlow and directed by Duncan Staff who recently won a UK television award for their series The Anatomy of Crime.

The program is being supported by the Bar Council. Vice-chairman Tim Dutton QC and members of the Public Affairs Committee have been involved with the project for over a year, providing technical and policy assistance to its development.

Dutton said: “Ironically, barristers can feel awkward and uneasy when they know a camera is around. Yet we perform our work in public and are prepared to be the subject of criticism by judges and our peers. However, we grumble about the inaccurate portrayal of the Bar by popular sections of the media. It is a constant complaint (not correct but nevertheless perceived) that we, as a profession, take the jibes and do not attempt to correct the falsities fed to the general public by tabloid media and some politicians.

“In my view the time has come for us to open up to the wider world and illustrate the responsibilities we bear and the care with which we discharge them. It is a time of unprecedented attack upon Justice. It is the right time for us to take the modest risk of allowing a documentary to be made which holds up a mirror to our work.”

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