Lives of the Law: Selected Essays and Speeches: 2000-2010

Hardcover | October 6, 2011

byTom Bingham

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Tom Bingham (1933-2010) was the 'greatest judge of our time' (The Guardian), a towering figure in modern British public life who championed the rule of law and human rights inside and outside the courtroom. Lives of the Law collects Bingham's most important later writings, in which he bringshis distinctive, engaging style to tell the story of the diverse lives of the law: its life in government, in business, and in human wrongdoing.Following on from The Business of Judging (2000), the papers collected here tackle some of the major debates in British public life over the last decade, from reforming the constitution to the growth of human rights law. They offer Bingham's distinctive insight on issues such as the role of thejudiciary in a democracy, the implementation of the Human Rights Act, and the development of the rule of law, in the UK and internationally.Written in the accessible style that made The Rule of Law (2010) a popular success, the book will be essential reading for all those working in law, and an engaging inroad to understanding modern constitutional and legal debates for the general reader.

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Tom Bingham (1933-2010) was the 'greatest judge of our time' (The Guardian), a towering figure in modern British public life who championed the rule of law and human rights inside and outside the courtroom. Lives of the Law collects Bingham's most important later writings, in which he bringshis distinctive, engaging style to tell the s...

The late Tom Bingham occupied all of the senior judicial positions in the UK: the Master of the Rolls, from 1992-1996; the Lord Chief Justice, from 1996-2000; and the Senior Law Lord, from 2000 until his retirement in 2008. He is the author of The Business of Judging (OUP, 2000) and The Rule of Law (Allen Lane, 2009). A volume of es...

other books by Tom Bingham

The Rule Of Law
The Rule Of Law

Paperback|Sep 14 2011


Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:October 6, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199697302

ISBN - 13:9780199697304

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bingham's Instinctive Insights for the Future An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers This selection of Tom Bingham’s major essays and speeches is a great tribute to a great man. Bingham has been described by ‘The Guardian’ as the ‘greatest judge of our time’ and he has some stiff contemporary competition but this book will solidify his position as we review the first decade of the 21st century. And make no mistake here, Bingham is rightly described as a towering figure in modern British public life! Yes, he championed the rule of law (as he saw it), and human rights inside and outside court. What OUP have done here is to produce a retrospective series of explorations around the judicial world which will be of great benefit to the jurisprudent and scholar as well as any future historian interested in this current period of history. In his introduction, Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell explains the difficult period during Bingham’s period in high office when the relationship between and judiciary and Parliament was often tense. With the advent of the Human Rights Act in particular, and other pieces of legislation which appear controversial to some, a new agenda was set for the turn of the century with Bingham at the forefront of what many have described as this new judicial orthodoxy. Of course, to others the arrival of this substantial constitutional reform which Bingham saw as quintessentially British, and the creation of the Supreme Court, have both been the subject of criticism, mainly for party political reasons. However, realists are beginning to see that neither revision nor repeal of the Human Rights Act will free the UK from its obligations under the European Convention whatever the grumbling so it is here to stay… at least for the foreseeable future. There are five parts to the book, and twenty two chapters which cover a wide range of what can be called practical jurisprudence where we get to see how the formulation of judicial thought is built upon. We start with the Constitution and the Rule of Law (and obviously Dicey) plus a bit of Lords reform. Then we go to the business of judging (or judicial realism as some may see it). Probably the area of greater historic significance is Part 3 on Human Rights and Human Wrongs which also reviews habeas corpus and leads conveniently to the common law in action and a modern review of the duty of care- we particularly liked ‘the internationalization of the Common Law’ in chapter 20 before the closing part covering people under the title ‘Lives of the Law’ looking at the major opinion-formers, Dr Johnson and Jeremy Bentham. And finally, a detailed and very useful index which includes some of the cases referred to throughout the book. The final words will go to Jowell who defines Bingham’s immense authority with the following modified words from the introduction: It (Bingham’s authority) rests not only on a formidable analytical skill but also that Bingham understood and represented the finest sources and forces behind our constitutional values, methods and preferences. And Bingham was also profoundly sensitive to the requirement to accommodate traditional British ways to a rapidly changing society, and the wider world where liberty and the rule of law thrive. That is the message which comes through “Lives of the Law” which is a fitting tribute to Bingham’s memory as we weight up the legacy of his instinctive insights for the future now that he is sadly no longer with us.
Date published: 2011-09-19

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Jeffrey Jowell: ForewordI. The Constitution and the Rule of LawLooking Backward1. Magna Carta2. The Alabama Claims and the International Rule of Law3. Dicey Revisited4. The Evolving Constitution5. The Old Order ChangethLooking Forward6. A Written Constitution?7. The Future of the House of LordsII. The Business of Judging8. The Judges: Active or Passive?9. Government and Judges: Friends or Enemies?10. The Highest Court in the LandIII. Human Rights and Human Wrongs11. The Human Rights Act: The View from the Bench12. Personal Freedom and the Dilemma of Democracies13. Habeas Corpus14. 'The Law Favours Liberty': Slavery and the English Common Law15. I Beg Your PardonIV. The Common Law16. From Servant to Employee: A Study of the Common Law in Action17. A Duty of Care: The Uses of Tort18. The Law as the Handmaiden of Commerce19. A New Thing under the Sun?: The Interpretation of Contracts and the ICS Decision20. The Internationalization of the Common LawV. Lives of the Law21. Dr Johnson and the Law22. Mr Bentham is Present

Editorial Reviews

"exceptionally thoughtful and illuminating" --Marcel Berlins, The Guardian"