A bit of Garrow’s Law on BBC Radio4

December 28, 2012

Hello everyone,

First, let me that you for your kind words about the show. It’s appreciated. I’m only sorry that we’re not able to bring you more of Mr Garrow’s exploits!

For those of you in the UK, you might find it interesting to listen to the following episode of the Radio 4 show “Unreliable Evidence”  which was broadcast on BBC Radio4 on Boxing Day. Here is the link.


I took part in the show, hosted by former lawyer Clive Anderson along with Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, appeal court judge Sir Alan Moses, and German judge Ruth Herz.  We had a great chat about the drama of the court, and courtroom drama – I talked about Garrow’s Law, and they played a clip too! We also had a broader discussion about the theatricality of the law.

I hope you find it interesting. Sorry for those of you who are not in the UK.

“With its sets and costumes, soliloquies, suspense and dramatic revelations – the courtroom is pure theatre.

Following the return of Rumpole to Radio 4, Clive Anderson and his guests discuss how accurately the legal world is depicted in stage and screen dramas. And they discuss the issues which arise when the distinctions between fiction and fact – between Rumpole and reality – become blurred in the public’s mind.

Does the way courtroom dramas introduce dramatic last minute evidence, show defendants crumbling under cross-examination and defence barristers reducing juries to tears, even remotely reflect the real world? Are judges really as out of touch, and lawyers as pompous and greedy as their screen counterparts? And does it really matter if screenwriters fail to stick to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”


best wishes

Mark Pallis



Garrow’s Law in Australia – thanks for the support!

October 11, 2012

Thanks very much to everyone that has been visiting this website from Australia. I really appreciate your comments and have passed them on to the team.  We put a lot of effort into the show and I’m really glad that you enjoyed it. There are certainly more cases that we could do, but the BBC have said that they will not be commissioning a fourth series I’m afraid.

For reference, here is a link to a short documentary I made about Garrow and Garrow’s Law which is available as a bonus feature to the Series 2 dvd.
<a href=”https://vimeo.com/30784180&#8243; target=”_blank”></a>

with best wishes


Harry Potter on the Garrow’s Law set!

July 4, 2012

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all well.

Just wanted to let you know that the documentary ‘The Strange Case of the Law’ written and presented by the Barrister Harry Potter features Garrow this evening. They came up and spent the day on set, chatted to the actors and crew. So for those of you keen on history, and Andy Buchan, you should enjoy it! BBC4, 9pm tonight.

For Garrow fans in America, I’m afraid that it’s not available unless iplayer works in your region.

best wishes to all Mark

Series 4 + my best bits!

February 7, 2012

Hello everyone,

Having seen the note in The Sun, and today’s piece in The Bolton News (it quotes a BBC spokesperson as saying: “BBC1 will screen more than 20 new dramas this year, but Garrow’s Law will not be returning.” http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/districtnews/districtatog/9515687.Star_loses_TV_role_as_Garrow___s_Law_axed/ ) it seems fair to say that there will be no series 4 of Garrow’s Law.

I remember when I first came across Garrow way back in 2008. I was looking through the Old Bailey archives on the website http://www.oldbaileyonline.org trying to come up with ideas for a drama based on real cases for Twenytwenty televsion. Once I’d narrowed down the period that i was interested in, it wasn’t as much a case of me finding Garrow, but Garrow finding me! He appeared in so many cases in the Old Bailey that you can’t help but wonder, who was this guy? I was fascinated and captivated and it’s been a real pleasure to have the opportunity to delve into his life and come up with cases and stories for the show.

I know that for many people there’s no substitute for more episodes but, if you are left wanting more, then I genuinely urge you to go to the excellent oldbaileyonline.org website and have a browse.  It’s so easy to use – just pop Garrow’s name into the search engine and browse the cases.  John Beattie’s scholarly article about Garrow, John Hostettler’s biography of Garrow and the Garrow Soceity website http://www.garrowsociety.org are all great additional resources. Also, I can’t recommend strongly enough the book The Bar and the Old Bailey by Allyson May – it’s a really detailed account of the Bar around Garrow’s time and is full of great information.

Many people have been so helpful to me that I’d be here all day if I listed them all but I’d like to give special thanks to oldbaileyonline and Prof Tim Hitchcock, and the Librarian and staff at Lincoln’s Inn library who have been so great in helping me dig out obscure and dusty volumes of cases. Also, I’d like to thank the producers of the show, TwentyTwenty television and writer Tony Marchant – it’s their attention to detail that makes the magic. And the actors too, Andy, Aiden, Alun, Lyndsy, Rupert, Michael…  OK I’ll be here all day!

Thanks also to everyone that watched the show and came on this site to find out more. The whole reason I put information up here was because I wanted people to have a sense of the real cases that inspired the show. When I started, I wasn’t sure if people would be interested, but with close to 60,000 visitors, I’m delighted it’s been popular.

And finally, I’d like to thank the BBC for commissioning the show over these past three years. I think that shows like Garrow’s Law are the BBC at its best.

Here are my best bits, please do feel free to share your own highlights!

My favourite moment of the series…. it’s a hard one but here’s my top three. The Zong case – this was one of the cases that I included in my original document about the show. When we brought it to screen in Episode 1, series 2 I was proud to be able to shine a light on this sad but important day in our legal history.

Moment two would be the Captain Baillie case, also series 2.  As I say in the interview for the DVD, when I found Baillie’s pamphlet, he’d written in the forward explaining why he was setting down his story – it was in the hope that the plight of the seamen would not be forgotten. I can’t tell you what a feeling it was to dig this up and help make Baillie’s wish come true, some 200 years later.

But, drum roll, best moment…. Garrow’s Law is, after all, a drama so for me, the moment that best captures it was the Jones and Jasker case where one man accuses his lover of sodomy to save himself. The acting, the writing, the case, for me, it all came together in this episode. Tears of sadness and of joy…. perfect sunday night viewing!

with best wishes, and thanks for your support


PS: OK, other favourite bit, this last series when Silvester is imagining he’s a judge and talks about how he’d make Garrow’s life a misery, sustaining every objection and making his life hell, within the strictures of the law of course!


Garrow’s Law Series 4 update…

January 19, 2012

Hi everyone,

I have had lots of questions asking about series 4 of Garrow’s Law.  According to a recent statement from the BBC, the “jury’s still out”.   A number of people have asked me who they should contact to ask for another series.  I have looked into it and the best way is to either leave a message on the BBC points of view messageboard http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/NF1951566  or to email them directly pov@bbc.co.uk.

I hope this is helpful.  As far as I am aware, the BBC do take the viewers comments into consideration, so if you do want to see another series, it may well be worth firing off a quick email.

with best wishes


Episode 4 inspirations now online

December 2, 2011

Good afternoon,

The inspirations for Episode 4, Series III of Garrow’s Law are now online.


Enjoy, but if you don’t want to spoil the surprise, I suggest you wait until after the Episode before reading them!

with best wishes


Inspirations for Episode 3, series 3

November 27, 2011

Good evening,

Here are the notes on some of the many inspirations for Episode 3.


I hope you find it interesting, but I do advise waiting until after the show to read them!

Please do feel free to ask questions or share your thoughts.

with best wishes


Garrow’s Law behind the scenes sneak peak!

November 24, 2011

Hi everyone,

Here is an extract from Garrow’s Law: From dawn to dusk. A 19 minute film which takes you behind the scenes of Series III.  The full version will be part of the bonus features of the Garrow’s Law series III DVD.


Judge tells Jury to reconsider the verdict

November 20, 2011

In today’s episode, Justice Buller argued with the Jury.  We took inspiration from a real case.

Jury. We cannot alter our verdict.

Court. You will let all the thieves in London escape.



Garrow fights with the judge!

November 20, 2011

Another highlight of the episode today was Garrow fighting with Buller.  We took inspiration from a real case, here it is:


Mr Garrow My Lord I Object to the Witness being examined & I take the liberty to state my objection to the Court.

Court You must examine you Witness.

Mr. Garrow I have a right to my Objection.

Court If you do not examine your Witness you shall sit down

Mr. Garrow My Lord I shall not sit down.

Court Then I shall Commit you

Mr. Garrow So your Lordship may

Court Then I certainly will commit you

Mr Garrow There is a point of Law to be argued.

Court there is no point of Law and if there was you are to be assigned to the Court but you are to behave with Decency

Mr Garrow So I do my Lord I have not been used to be interrupted I am here to argue points of Law for the prisoner.

Court You have no right till you are Assigned

Mr. Garrow If you tell me so my Lord I sit down

Court I tell you so.

Mr Garrow I sit down