Title: Eggshell Skull

Author: Bri Lee

Published: June 2018

Genres: Memoir/Feminism




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?


NICKY'S REVIEW   ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Yes yes, one thousand times yes! This was one of my favourite reads of 2019. @bri.e.lee is on the inside looking out at the Australian legal system, and this confronting memoir tells her story of seeing the law from both sides. She is an astute, intelligent woman who is well versed in the law. Through her experience as a District Court Associate, she sees sexual offence matter outcomes day by day, and the confronting over representation of woman and children. She then finds herself as the complainant in criminal proceedings after she courageously reports being victim of a sexual assault. We follow the long, intrusive and draining judicial process, from the first police report, to a jury’s verdict. It is easy to read and her language is relatable (maybe minus the legal jargon, but lucky for me I understand it). It is raw, it is brave. I think it is an important read, and I hope the right people do read it.


TAY'S REVIEW   ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have a lawyer for a best friend, so you could say that I have some exposure to the world of legal proceedings, although I still learnt a lot from reading this book and took my time to understand all the jargon. What I luckily have very little exposure to though, is the world of sexual abuse. So naturally it was a frightening and harrowing insight into the ordeals of Lee and many other women who have been courageous enough to speak up, that hit even harder when the limitations of the judicial court system let them down after the years of pain their trial put them through. Lee backed up her experiences with statistics for total impact and gave us a 360 view of the process of a sexual assault claim thanks to finding herself on both sides of the courtroom. I experienced equal parts anger, disgust, relief and pride on this journey. The non-fictional element made it that much more raw. A fantastic example of a book I wish would find itself on the compulsory reading list for senior school students.

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