Silk (Series 3, Episode 4)

silk

Introduction

Well, we’re over the hump – the end of last week’s episode marked the half way point in the third series. Martha’s still going strong, but better than that, Caroline Warwick QC is back in London, larger than life and is on fire.

Plot

Extradition this week. But not a break from crime, as Rashid Hirani is accused of planning to blow up Arizona (or a part of it at least). His uncle is, as luck would have it, a solicitor who has heard of Martha’s reputation.

Surely with Martha going off to do extradition we will be spared the sight of Clive Reader prosecuting her? Clive’s done one extradition case, which is one more than Martha, but seems to be a bit of a whizz at it when he flicks through the papers.

Anyway, Martha smells a mental health defence, for Rashid, as well as Clive’s suggestion of arguing improper purpose. She meets Elizabeth Forester from the American Embassy (or at least, she claims to be – it sounded a pretty dodgy American accent) and gets a bit more information.

The High Court gives her a bit of time to get to the bottom of whether the US have been playing fast and loose. What do you do in those circumstances? You get a Special Advocate in. Of all the lawyers in all the land, who do you think gets the gig? Who else, but Clive Reader.

Unfortunately, it seems that Rashid has not been completely truthful. Luckily, it seems that there may be more to it than meets the eye (isn’t there always?). There is a fourth man who Martha tracks down and speaks to, before heading off to speak to Clive.

Luckily Clive is willing to break the rules and drop some hints to Martha about the secret stuff that he’s seen. And it’s interesting – I won’t give the final plot away, but no-one comes out of this that well. In case you wondered what happened to the mental health issues, it may be that Martha has got a way out of it for everyone …

Away from the Martha and Clive show, there’s plenty going on in Shoe Lane.

Caroline Warwick gives anyone that comes near her both barrels. A thousand lawyers were cheering at her comments about legal aid. And “We’re all stressed ducky, it’s the criminal bar” was exceptionally well delivered.

Amy Lang, the pupil, has had a bad week. She covered a mention in Caroline Warwick’s case that involved the ‘Albanian Paedophile’ trial, which involved it being brought forward. Caroline isn’t happy with this as she’s already so overworked and so Amy is sent off to schedulise all weekend.

Caroline opens the case to the jury based on Amy’s work, and then gets slapped down by one of the defence barristers who points out that she’s got the phone evidence all wrong, about which Caroline is pretty forgiving (presumably because she’s realised that she’s messed up majorly).

The complainant is cross-examined and is coming off badly. There is then a stroke of luck – Caroline ‘accidentally’ reads the defence proof of evidence, lies to the Judge about having told Amy what was in it, and then thinks ‘sod it’ (actually, I’m sure she’d say ‘fuck it’), before going and drinking vodka neat. Don’t judge it, we’ve all done it.

There is other stuff going on – Amy discloses the sexual harassment from Billy to Martha. Martha confronts Billy who explains that it was all a misunderstanding. The window of opportunity for the matter to be explained is passed, and Amy puts in an official complaint against Billy.

 

Review

The plots are getting slightly sillier, but the acting is still great. I know the dynamic between Martha and Clive is the backbone of the show, but I would like to see one week where they are not both involved in the same case. This week did actually raise an interesting ethical dilemma at the end, at least in the sense that Martha was torn as to whether she did the right thing.

But personally, I’d love to see Caroline Warwick get her own show – that would be something well worth watching. She is now firmly my favourite character.

 

Legal inconsistencies :

  • Elizabeth Forester would not be presenting the US case in Court as she appears to be witness in it. 
  • Blowing up the University of Arizona and killing four students would almost certainly be a federal, rather than a state, crime.
  • Whilst Caroline Warwick would probably not get a junior for her trial, this wouldn’t be because of legal aid – as she was prosecuting it would be up to the CPS to sort one.
  • Clive would probably not have been appointed as a Special Advocate, not really because they’re in the same chambers, more because he’s looked at the papers and spoken to Martha about it. After he had been appointed, he would not have been as open as he was with Martha.
  • The discussion as to whether Caroline would have to withdraw would not have been taken in the Judge’s chambers – it would have been in open Court.

If there are any extradition lawyers out there who want to write this up or comment on it, then please get in touch.

There is a good summary of the issues in extradition (and a look at mental health issues) in the case Babar Ahmad and others.

 

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2 thoughts on “Silk (Series 3, Episode 4)

  1. Pingback: Silk (Series 3, Episode 5) | UK Criminal Law Blog

  2. John Allman

    Does anybody know of a good courtroom drama series that doesn’t have in it a character who never, ever loses a trial or an application?

    (By the way, I wanted to post this comment on the Episode 5 blog post, but was unable to do so.)

    Reply

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