Crown Court returns after 30-year hiatus
An iconic courtroom drama is returning to television screens this week with 2 Hare Court criminal barrister-turned TV judge Robert Rinder presiding over the cases — which are set to be argued by rather unusually dressed barristers.
Crown Court, a daytime show that aired on ITV in the late seventies and eighties, clocked up over 800 episodes and followed cases as they unfolded in the courtroom of the fictional town of ‘Fulchester’. Typically a trial would span three 25 minute episodes, with the prosecution case being presented in the first two and the defence in the third. Although those involved in the case were actors (British talent included Colin Firth, Peter Capaldi and Bob Hoskins), the jury was made up of members of the general public.
Now ITV has confirmed the show will return in a brand new primetime slot at 8pm this Friday, but unlike the original version, the jury will be viewers themselves.
Unfortunately lawyers are already picking holes in Rinder’s latest offering. James Turner QC, a barrister a London’s 1 King’s Bench Walk, tweeted a section of the Radio Times’ coverage of the show, asking his followers: “Can anyone spot what’s wrong with this picture?”
— James Turner QC (@JamesTurner37) December 2, 2017
Answer? Well, if the chap far right is indeed playing the role of a barrister, he should not be wearing a tie in court. It was a fashion faux pas that a number of Turner’s followers were quick to flag up:
— Steven Jonas (@S_Jonas) December 3, 2017
The Barrister with a tie
— Fabian Krougman (@fkrougman) December 2, 2017
Barristers should, depending on the court they’re appearing in, wear court bands or a collarette (female equivalent). The promotional shot also appears to show the barrister without a gown and sporting a day collar, again strict no-nos in court.
Dresscode technicalities to one side, Turner’s question did prompt a raft of amusing responses:
You should obviously only wear a plain tie with your wig. Striped ties are for the club
— ROU Frank Exchange of Views (@seanjonesqc) December 2, 2017
The tie does not appear to be Eton or an Oxbridge college?
— Barry Havenhand (@BarryHavenhand) December 2, 2017
How do you get legal aid for THREE counsel? (even if one can't afford a pair of bands.
— Michael Stokes,QC (@judgecampion) December 2, 2017
The first episode of Rinder’s Crown Court remake will examine the case of a man accused of murdering his wife. Inspired by a real-life arsenic poisoning, viewers will hear evidence from both prosecution and defence witnesses before having to reach a decision: guilty or not guilty. In an additional twist, Rinder — who still presents his popular daytime court-based show — will then reveal the verdict reached by the original jury in the case that inspired the storyline.