The Legal Establishment in Murmuring Judges

Topics: Lawyer, Judge, Barrister Pages: 2 (857 words) Published: October 15, 2014
Discuss the presentation of the legal establishment in Act One Scene 2 and elsewhere in the play In the play “Murmuring Judges” by David Hare, the legal establishment is generally portrayed in a negative light. One negative attitude displayed by the barristers is a lack of understanding about the life of the general population. This is reflected by Sir Peter stating that everyone listens to “Desert Island Disks” (a Radio 4 broadcast) when they sit down for “Sunday luncheon”. The fact that Peter thinks appearing on this show and choosing classical songs such as Brahms will make him seem “more human” shows how out of touch he is with the common man. Irina appears to feel this way, but chooses not to say anything due to her lower ranking in the hierarchy, instead looking down, “impassive”. The barristers also fail to reflect the diversity of British society, with most of them being white upper-class males, Irina being the exception that proves the rule – as highlighted by Peter when he states that she has “all the assets” needed “in a forward-looking Bar”, which could convey that she has been employed because she ticks the box of being a young black female, which may be an attempt to demonstrate some level of variety in the legal establishment. An exclusive nature is also highlighted by the language used during the exchange between Peter and Cuddeford, with Cuddeford’s analogy of “bowling averages” showing that he expects knowledge of cricket to be held by those he is speaking to. Furthermore, the male workers all appear to have nicknames for each other, referring to one barrister as “Beaky” and an old judge as “Chugger”. This may suggest that the barristers are all from public schools such as Eton, and their schoolboy nicknames have stuck with them throughout their adult life. Furthermore, the barristers appear to be strongly against the Court and Legal Services Act of 1990, which would allow solicitors to represent their clients in court, “starting a...
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