Allen & Unwin, www.allenandunwin.com
Eggshell Skull: A well-established legal doctrine that a defendant must 'take their victim as they find them'. If a single punch kills someone because of their thin skull, that victim's weakness cannot mitigate the seriousness of the crime.
But what if it also works the other way? What if a defendant on trial for sexual crimes has to accept his 'victim' as she comes: a strong, determined accuser who knows the legal system, who will not back down until justice is done?
Bri Lee began her first day of work at the Queensland District Court as a bright-eyed judge's associate. Two years later she was back as the complainant in her own case.
This is the story of Bri's journey through the Australian legal system; first as the daughter of a policeman, then as a law student, and finally as a judge's associate in both metropolitan and regional Queensland-where justice can look very different, especially for women. The injustice Bri witnessed, mourned and raged over every day finally forced her to confront her own personal history, one she'd vowed never to tell. And this is how, after years of struggle, she found herself on the other side of the courtroom, telling her story.
Bri Lee has written a fierce and eloquent memoir that addresses both her own reckoning with the past as well as with the stories around her, to speak the truth with wit, empathy and unflinching courage.
In 2018, Bri received a Commonwealth Government of Australia scholarship and stipend to work on her second book at the University of Queensland. She is qualified to practice law, but doesn't.
'A page-turner of a memoir, impossible to put down' ‒ Krissy Kneen, author of An Uncertain Grace
'Scorching, self-scouring: a young woman finds her steel and learns to wield it' ‒ Helen Garner
'Brutal, brave and utterly compelling. I can't remember a book I devoured with such intensity, nor one that moved me so profoundly' ‒ Rebecca Starford, author of Bad Behaviour and co-founder of Kill Your Darlings
Published in Chain Reaction #133, September 2018. National magazine of Friends of the Earth Australia. www.foe.org.au/cr133
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