How the law can let us down
How the law can let us down
'The presumption of innocence is the keystone of liberty. Yet it is constantly under attack and is liable to be whittled away, particularly in times of crisis. It is for all thinking citizens to ensure that the presumption of innocence is a reality.'
It is the foundation of Western legal systems that an accused person is presumed innocent until their crime is conclusively proven. Yet despite technological improvements - such as the use of DNA testing of suspects - grave miscarriages of justice still occur all too frequently.
From the Dreyfus Affair to Lindy Chamberlain, from minor traffic offences to the worst sexual crimes, citizens have been wrongly accused and falsely convicted. Sometimes deliberate police malpractice has been the cause; sometimes a politically convenient willingness by governments and juries to lighten the burden of proof in order to achieve 'a result'. How can this happen, and - more importantly - why do we allow it to continue happening?
With his characteristic insight and advocacy skills, Chester Porter QC argues that wrongful conviction is an issue of urgency, and that governments must do more to protect their citizens from miscarriages of justice.
““Porter steps forward with a book that should be on the library shelf of every police academy” - The Weekend Australian”
“Praise for THE GENTLE ART OF PERSUASION:”
“‘It's easy to read, with lots of wise advice and packed with anecdotes from Porter's courtroom experiences’ - Daily Telegraph”
“Praise for WALKING ON WATER:”
“‘There are many dull legal memoirs; this is not one of them!’ - Times Literary Supplement”
“‘These memoirs should be a prescribed text for legal studies in schools and police academies. Members of parliament might learn a thing or two as well!’ - The Weekend Australian”
“‘We should all read Walking on Water and be better educated, and no one should embark on litigation before they have done so. By the time they lay the volume down, they will have cooled off, left their solicitor untelephoned, saved themselves a bucket of money and averted a heart attack.’ - Australian Book Review”
“‘The value of this melange of biography, anecdote and ruminations lies in its rarity...’ - Sydney Morning Herald”
“‘You f***in beauty! Chester Porter is the man. Get him regardless of the expense!’ - Neddy Smith”
“‘I am rather averse to people who express criticism but do not suggest improvements. WALKING ON WATER memorably illustrates successive faults in our laws and courts over the last half century and always suggests feasible and humane solutions’ - Hon. E.G.Whitlam”
“‘The first day in court Chester reminded me of a cheeky, bright-eyed sparrow with eyes and ears everywhere’ - Lindy Chamberlain”