I bought this book at the book launch in Montpellier, France. I was hooked because during the launch we played one of the games in the book. It was a short vignette about prison guard brutality and we had to decide if a trap had been set for the lawyer going to visit the prisoner who had made the allegations. At the end of the vignette there was a series of questions to make us think about who was the target of the trap – the prisoner or the lawyer; whether it would be regrettable if the inmate or the lawyer was caught in the trap; and what the public would think.
It was a piquant taster of the book which has cases on obsession, addiction, breach of trust, family affairs and so on. Each little case is based on a number of real life cases that the author has come across in her career as a lawyer. She is eminently qualified to write this book having practised law for many years as well as holding academic positions.
As a result, the case studies are interesting and, as in real life, are not always easy to resolve. You have to decide what the issues are, what’s gone wrong, and what should be done about it. At the end of the book you can help the appropriately named fictional country of Torcia build a criminal justice system that reflects the modern world.
Technical terms such as restorative justice are explained, as are sentencing concepts such as absolute or conditional discharges, fines, probation or incarceration. It’s very realistic and the book should be required reading for all young adults interested in studying law. It’s also fascinating for anyone with an interest in justice who’d like to get to grips with resolving cases. There’s certainly enough to get your teeth into, with murder, rape, domestic violence, assault, theft, etc.
At the time of writing this, I know the author is planning on putting the questions online in a survey so you’ll be able to answer them and be part of a Judgement Game community. This will be excellent for those not wanting to deface their book, and know what others think about the different issues.