Although England had a well-developed legal system by the 19th century, the trial process was stacked against the defendant. Crimes like theft and damage to property could be punished by death, but trials were often over in minutes and most defendants had no-one to put their case other than the judge himself.
Harry Potter explores the incredible transformation that enshrined fairness in English court procedure and put the defence on an equal footing with the prosecution. It was a change shaped by seismic shifts in English society, from the Industrial Revolution to the rise of the popular press. Above all, it saw the emergence of the star turn of the courtroom drama - the defence barrister. Harry's journey involves spies, forgery, fraud and murder, and a visit to the set of drama series Garrow's Law.