Where is the justice, High Court Judge Hardin (Douglas) wonders, when the innocent suffer and the clearly guilty go free on a technicality. In books? In the judicial system he has sworn to uphold? Or is he the law? Reluctantly, he joins The Star Chamber, a clandestine society of judges who re-try and pass sentence on certain 'messy' cases. From the opening sequence - a pell-mell chase through a confusion of colour, movement and sound - Hyams constructs a tense and absorbing thriller; but as in previous filmic efforts to confront this elusive moral issue (...And Justice for All, for example), the subtleties escape faster than the criminals. Just as Douglas discovers that he can go only so far along the extra-judicial path, so the film's line of reasoning twists part-way, falters, then ties itself into tangled and inconclusive knots.