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I cannot understand why A.P. Herbert is not more famous than he is, for this book is a fascinating, funny and thought-provoking collection of fake legal cases and until I stumbled across Herberts name in Wikipedia while looking for something else, I had never heard of him. He really ought to rank up next to P.G. Wodehouse et al as being one of the top humorists of that time and place.Uncommon Law showcases much of the stupidity and silliness inherent in British law at that time. Cases are included illustrating the sheer ludicrousness of, for example, the following things:1. There was, at the time, no such thing as a no-fault divorce. (This has, thank goodness, been corrected.) To get a divorce you had to accuse your partner of something like cruelty, adultery, etc. In a lot of cases couples who wanted to split up would stage an adultery, having the husband conspicuously check into a hotel for the night with a mistress hired for the occasion, just so they could get out of the marriage.2. BUT if it was proven that both husband AND wife had misconducted themselves (committed adultery, for example), then the marriage had to stand.3. The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is a very significant one for the criminal record (a felony being considered a more serious crime and having much more severe consequences than a misdemeanor), but it is also completely meaningless. It had grown impossible to tell whether a particular offense was a felony, or a misdemeanor.4. The government put a tax on lectures and performances, except when they were educational. However, they didnt recognize that such events could be both entertaining and educational, and tried to tax those, so in effect a lecture or play had to be boring to claim the tax exemption. Herbert appears to be somewhat of a libertarian. Quoting from the book: I understand that in the opinion of all Government Departments all fun is prima facie illegal, and, if it is not illegal, deserves to be taxed. This book was written in the latter half of the twentieth century, but many of the legal issues therein are still highly relevant today. For instance, Rex vs. Bloggs, What is Education? is an excellent defense of homeschooling. And several of the cases deal with the issue of the police enticing people to commit violations, then arresting them for it. (To this day, do the police not send in underage teenagers to try to buy cigarettes?) Lawyers in particular would love this book, but I would recommend it for any intelligent person who likes humor that will make them think as well as laugh.

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