The Defenders airs from spring
Channel 4 has been given “unprecedented access” to one of the country’s top criminal defence chambers for a new legal docu-series following the day-to-day life of a group of barristers.
The four-part documentary, The Defenders, will explore the work that goes into “preparing ‘the defence'” and will follow barristers from 25 Bedford Row through their cases — from when they are given a brief, through to the twists and turns of the judicial process, preparing for court, up to the verdict.
The barristers handle cases from speeding fines to murder, shop lifting to armed robbery, high stakes fraud to drugs conspiracy.
The Defenders, which airs from spring, will also show the barristers’ lives beyond work, their families, friendships and hobbies.
The series has been commissioned as part of Channel 4’s Black to Front project which aims to improve Black representation on-screen and more widely in the TV industry. The pubcaster has commissioned Spring Films to produce the series.
Shaminder Nahal, commissioning editor, said:
“We’re used to seeing TV programmes about crime — but it’s rare to see what goes on in the world of the barristers defending the alleged criminals. These films will attempt to tell us new truths about the justice system, and how it works — and the people working with in it, and caught up in it.”
BBC Two previously aired a three-part legal docu-series exploring the work of the Crown Prosecution Service. The Prosecutors documented lawyers battling to secure convictions and starred criminal judge Julie Warburton formerly of The 36 Group chambers.