• Ballot Box to Jury Box by John Baker - book cover

Ballot Box to Jury Box

The Life and Times of an English Crown Court Judge

by John Baker


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His Honour John Baker DL was first a solicitor and partner with Amery Parkes and Co, UK where he worked on the pioneering scheme to provide legal advice to members of the Automobile Association. He then became a partner in Goodman Derrick and Co specialising in libel, copyright and franchising of the early British Independent Television (ITV) stations before switching roles to become a barrister in the chambers of Sir Dingle Foot QC, MP who was later appointed Solicitor-General. In time he was appointed as a Crown Court Recorder then Circuit Judge, rising to become the resident judge at Kingston-Upon-Thames Crown Court, Surrey, England and to sit as a deputy judge in the High Court of Justice. But John Baker also had a remarkable ‘other life’ – including as a regular broadcaster and celebrity on television and radio. He was also active in the UK Liberal Party from his student days and stood three times for Parliament. This candid and often humorous autobiography traces his political ambitions and tells how he came to discard the ballot box for the court bench which in England the judges, who are not elected, are obliged to do – of his experiences as a politician, broadcaster, lawyer, judge and family man – and the array of leading lights and everyday folk whom he met in the course of twin careers spanning over half a century at the hub of socio-political-legal events. A unique social record of over 50 years in politics and the law and an essential library addition for people interested in the democractic process.



‘This is, without doubt, a special book’: Phillip Taylor MBE, Richmond Chambers Reviews

‘A reader who appreciates life in post-war Britain will enjoy this book’:T.P. Wolf, Indiana University Southeast, British Politics Newsletter

‘Entertaining… this is an engaging account of a fascinating man, whose one philosophy saw the law as a means to achieve justice rather than an obstacle to the right result’: John Cooper, Media Review, The Times

‘His Honour John Baker, knows how to tell a good story… there is much to enjoy in these memoirs. Well known figures, political and non political populate its pages but they never intrude on… a story set against the wider canvas of post-war British life’: Paul Hunt, Club News

‘A candid and often humorous autobiography’: Parkshot News

Additional information

Weight460 g
Dimensions234 × 156 × 17 mm


Waterside Press




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Place of origin

United Kingdom

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