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We are in the age of statutes; and it is indisputable that statutes are swallowing up the common law. Yet the study of statutes as a coherent whole is rare. In these three lectures, given as the 2017 Hamlyn Lecture series, Professor Andrew Burrows takes on the challenge of thinking seriously and at a practical level about statutes in English law. In his characteristically lively and punchy style, he examines three central aspects which he labels interpretation, interaction and improvement. So how are statutes interpreted? Is statutory interpretation best understood as seeking to effect the intention of Parliament or is that an unhelpful fiction? Can the common law be developed by analogy to statutes? Do the judges have too much power in developing the common law and in interpreting statutes? How can our statutes be improved? These and many other questions are explored and answered in this accessible and thought-provoking analysis.
Extensively updated throughout, this new edition introduces students to a wide range of modern legal issues. Written in a clear and engaging style, the book expertly addresses the ways in which the rules and structures of law respond to and influence changes in economic and political life. It provides a clear understanding of the relationship between law and society, with particular emphasis on the importance of morality, dispute solution and business regulation. An Introduction to Law is a valuable resource for students of law, be they undergraduate law students, those studying law as part of a mixed degree, or students on business or social science courses in which legal studies are included.
The Scottish jurist, judge, legal historian and philosopher Henry Home (1696-1782) took the title Lord Kames when he was elevated to the bench of the Scottish Court of Session in 1752. In the 18th century, his books were influential and widely read; the educated classes and representatives of the Enlightenment in England, France and in the German states were all familiar with his aesthetic and philosophical writings. Andreas Rahmatian explains Kames' conceptions of legal philosophy, including black-letter law, legal science, legal theory, legal sociology and anthropology in its early stages, setting them in the context of the Scottish Enlightenment. He looks at how Kames came to be one of the forefathers of comparative law, sociology of law, legal psychology and 'legal science' in its proper meaning, as opposed to 'law'.
For the 2013 Hamlyn Lectures, Sir John Laws explored the constitutional balance between law and government in the United Kingdom. He argues that the unifying principle of the constitution is the common law and that its distinctive method has endowed the British State with profoundly beneficial effects, before examining two contemporary threats to the constitutional balance: extremism and the effect of Europe-made laws on the domestic English system.
John Sorabji examines the theoretical underpinnings of the Woolf and Jackson reforms to the English and Welsh civil justice system. He discusses how the Woolf reforms attempted, and failed, to effect a revolutionary change to the theory of justice that informed how the system operated. It elucidates the nature of those reforms, which through introducing proportionality via an explicit overriding objective into the Civil Procedure Rules, downgraded the court's historic commitment to achieving substantive justice or justice on the merits. In doing so, Woolf's new theory is compared with one developed by Bentham, while also exploring why a similarly fundamental reform carried out in the 1870s succeeded where Woolf's failed. It finally proposes an approach that could be taken by the courts following implementation of the Jackson reforms to ensure that they succeed in their aim of reducing litigation cost through properly implementing Woolf's new theory of justice.
The British justice system is an ancient one that has continually evolved to meet modern needs. In this set of three essays, originally presented as the Hamlyn lectures in 2012, Jack Straw reviews some of the most important recent reforms to the system of British justice and suggests key areas in need of further reform. He focuses in particular on the criminal courts, human rights, judicial appointments and the relationship between the UK Parliament, the domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights. In all three cases, he argues that the British justice system is now in a healthier state than it has been in his lifetime, but that there remains much room - and need - for improvement.
The Human Rights Act 1998 has had a profound effect in numerous private law decisions and has been the subject of extensive academic debate, in particular on the issue of the extent to which it has horizontal effect and its application in disputes between individuals. With contributions from a variety of academics and practitioners, this volume covers and contributes to the academic debate on horizontal effect and considers how theory matches up with case law; the limits of the Act for private law; and its impact on key areas including privacy, defamation, negligence, nuisance, property, commercial law and employment. Together, the book provides a practical critique of the areas discussed, which will be of academic interest to theorists and of practical benefit to lawyers and judges who wish to understand how the academic debates can be brought to bear in particular cases.
For the 2010 Hamlyn Lectures, Alan Paterson explores different facets of three key institutions in a democracy: lawyers, access to justice and the judiciary. In the case of lawyers he asks whether professionalism is now in terminal decline. To examine access to justice, he discusses past and present crises in legal aid and potential endgames and in relation to judges he examines possible mechanisms for enhancing judicial accountability. In demonstrating that the benign paternalism of lawyers in determining the public good with respect to such issues is no longer unchallenged, he argues that the future roles of lawyers, access to justice and the judiciary will only emerge from dialogues with other stakeholders claiming to speak for the public interest.
An independent and impartial judiciary is fundamental to the existence and operation of a liberal democracy. Focussing on Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, this comparative 2011 study explores four major issues affecting the judicial institution. These issues relate to the appointment and discipline of judges; judges and freedom of speech; the performance of non-judicial functions by judges; and judicial bias and recusal, and each is set within the context of the importance of maintaining public confidence in the judiciary. The essays highlight important episodes or controversies affecting members of the judiciary to illustrate relevant principles.
As a practising barrister, the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Sedley wrote widely on legal and non-legal matters, and continued to do so after becoming a judge in 1992. This anthology contains classic articles, previously unpublished essays and lecture transcripts. To each, he has added reflections on what has transpired since or an explanation of the British legal and political context that originally prompted it. Covering the history, engineering and architecture of the justice system, their common theme relates to the author's experiences as a barrister and judge, most notably in relation to the constitutional changes which have emerged in the last twenty years in the United Kingdom.
British judges increasingly now pay attention to foreign case law when deciding domestic cases, and are required to interpret and apply international law in domestic courts and administer an international code of human rights. Tom Bingham examines the consequences of this increasingly internationalist outlook of British courts, including cases which rely on a range of foreign cases, cases where an international convention or principle is interpreted and cases in which human rights cases are decided in reliance on principles established elsewhere.
The civil justice system supports social order and economic activity, but a number of factors over the last decade have created a situation in which the value of civil justice is being undermined and the civil courts are in a state of dilapidation. For the 2008 Hamlyn Lectures, Dame Hazel Genn discusses reforms to civil justice in England and around the world over the last decade in the context of escalating expenditure on criminal justice and vanishing civil trials. In critically assessing the claims and practice of mediation for civil disputes, she questions whether diverting cases out of the public courts and into private dispute resolution promotes access to justice, looks critically at the changed expectations of the judiciary in civil justice and points to the need for a better understanding of how judges 'do justice'.
William Andrews Holdsworth was the author of several popular legal handbooks, which ran into many editions. They were aimed at non-specialists, explaining topics such as landlord and tenant rights, will-making and acting as an executor, bankruptcy and married women's property legislation. The Handy Book of Parish Law was first published in 1859, and ran to twelve editions, of which this is the third (1872). The parish is still the lowest level of local government, particularly in the countryside, and parish councils formerly made many of the decisions which affected day-to-day life in their locality. Regular changes in the law required frequent updating, and the significance of certain bodies altered over time. This is a useful source for local and family historians, which helps unravel the complexities of parish law, which applied not only to church management but to poor law unions and aspects of local government.
John Steer (fl. 1830) was a barrister and writer on legal issues best remembered for this detailed survey of the state of parish laws in the early nineteenth century. In this period the parish was the main institution of rural administration, and parishes were responsible for both ecclesiastical and civil matters, these being administered by the parish vestry. This volume, first published in 1830, contains a clear and comprehensive review of the many laws relating to the responsibilities of the parish. Organising the text according to parish institution, Steer provides a thorough description of legislation which governs all aspects of parish activities, including the parish vestry, Poor Law and church administration, and the duties of Justices of the Peace, with the legal statutes and pertinent legal cases included. This volume was published in multiple editions during the nineteenth century, and provides a rich resource for the study of contemporary life.
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