Channel 4 has commissioned Spring Films for four-part documentary series The Defenders.

With access to one of the UK’s leading defence chambers – 25 Bedford Row –it will look to follow the barristers from when they are given a case, through the twists and turns of the judicial process, preparing for court, up to the verdict.

The barristers handle offences from speeding fines to murder, shop lifting to armed robbery, high stakes fraud to drugs conspiracy. The film will cover the work that goes into preparing the defence – from walking the crime scene to forensic examination.

The Defenders will also take in the barristers’ life outside work, their families, friendships and hobbies

The series has been commissioned as part of Channel 4’s Black to Front project which aims to amplify black stories and voices, and accelerate change in representation.

Shaminder Nahal, commissioning editor, says: “We’re used to seeing TV programmes about crime – but it’s rare to see what goes on in the world of the barristers defending the alleged criminals. These films will attempt to tell us new truths about the justice system, and how it works – and the people working with in it, and caught up in it. The highly topical series was commissioned as part of the Black to Front project – one of the aims of which is to tell authentic and diverse stories not often heard.”

Richard Melman is executive producer for Spring Films.

Pippa Considine

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