A review by Julie Finch-Scally


Author, Judith Fordham is a criminal lawyer. With a PhD in Forensic Science she has found that too few lawyers, whether working for the prosecution or defending those charged with murder, have a true understanding of the scientific facts that are presented now a days in Court.

Having met Judith on a recent cruise, where she was lecturing about these problems, I was fascinated about the subject, so purchased her book, Life, Law and Not Enough Shoes.

More and more use is being made of DNA and scientific analysis in criminal cases, which unless the expert witness can easily explain how each matter effects the case concerned, lawyers without scientific knowledge find it very hard to comprehend, let alone a jury.

An insight in to Judith Fordham, this interesting book is and how Judith ended up teaching Police, Lawyers, Judges and other interested people, how scientific facts relate to dead bodies and what can be learnt from them.

TV detective series go to great lengths to explain what is derived from a post mortem, but how much does the criminal lawyer really understand about the situation, and what questions should be asked of the expert witness?

Some of the stories that Ms Fordham tells in this book, from her many court cases, are not only fascinating but instructive. There have been several amazing cases defended by Ms Fordham where science has been the reason for an acquittal. Especially the alleged murder of a child by its father. Ms Fordham, through research and indepth investigation proved to the jury and the judge that forensic evidence that was available when her client was charged, was no longer the case. And what the father had said about how the child had died, was not only plausible but more likely the truth. Ms. Fordham had demonstrated that the prosecution could not prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the child had been murdered.

I found this book both entertaining and absorbing. For a lady who had a science degree then decided to train in law while raising, on her own, three young daughters, she deserves all the attention her forensic training has brought her. Ms Fordham made a huge impact in the law courts of Western Australia and tells it all in this book. Although first published in 2008 and again in 2010 and 2012 the information is still fresh and up to date.

And the shoes? Well any lady that has a shoe fetish is going to be noticed in court. But that’s for you to discover when you read the book.

Title: Life, Law and not enough shoes
Author: Judith Fordham
Publisher: New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Published: 2008; 2010; 2012
ISBN: 9781741105391