What are said to be the facts of a matter can be affected by pieces of fiction, as in testimony flawed by an imperfect memory or tales prompted by self-interest.
Alert to the ins and outs of the trial process, Nicholas Hasluck, a former judge and accomplished novelist, has drawn upon his personal diaries to explore the relationship between law and literature, as he did in his earlier work about judicial life, Bench and Book.
Judging isn’t just about finding facts and applying law. It involves getting to grips with individual stories and dilemmas. A mind alert to the complexities of human nature won’t accept too easily what is simply alleged or said to be true. At its best, law is truth in action, a story showing what actually happened and what should be done.