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Dirty Money

Paul Foot, 17 December 1992

A Full Service Bank: How BCCI stole millions around the world 
by James Ring Adams and Douglas Frantz.
Simon and Schuster, 381 pp., £16.99, April 1992, 0 671 71133 4
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Bankrupt: The BCCI Fraud 
by Nick Kochan and Bob Whittington.
Gollancz, 234 pp., £4.99, November 1991, 0 575 05279 1
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The BCCI Affair: A Report to The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 
by Senators John Kerry and Hank Brown.
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 800 pp., September 1992
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Inquiry into the Supervision of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International 
by Lord JusticeBingham.
HMSO, 218 pp., £19.30, October 1992, 0 10 219893 4
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... Robert Maxwell, Abedi made a special fuss of prosecutors, attorneys general and ministers of justice. So successful was he in this sphere that very few law offices bothered even to investigate the source of BCCI’s funds. Much of this, it now turns out, was more likely than not to have been ‘dirty money’ from the sale of cocaine or, far more ...

Waspish Civilities

Stephen Sedley: The Case for a Supreme Court, 21 May 2020

High Principle, Low Politics and the Emergence of the Supreme Court 
by Frederic Reynold.
Wildy, Simmonds and Hill, 154 pp., £14.95, September 2019, 978 0 85490 283 5
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... peerage and handed to a committee composed of legally qualified life peers appointed by the lord chancellor. Then in 2009 the House of Lords was replaced by a Supreme Court, separately housed, financed and administered, its proceedings livestreamed, its judges appointed by a non-governmental commission. To lawyers it looked very much like the end of ...

How to Be a Good Judge

John Gardner: The Rule of Law, 8 July 2010

The Rule of Law 
by Tom Bingham.
Allen Lane, 213 pp., £20, February 2010, 978 1 84614 090 7
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... were. Imagine a country with periodic re-elections of all officials, including judges, but without justice dispensed openly in publicly accessible courts. Such a country shouldn’t be thought of as a democracy because, in spite of its election mania, it would lack an essential way for people to participate in public life, as well as one of the most demanding ...

‘This in no wise omit’

Tom Bingham: Habeas Corpus, 7 October 2010

Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire 
by Paul Halliday.
Harvard, 502 pp., £29.95, March 2010, 978 0 674 04901 7
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... that the Welsh Council was immune from orders of the King’s Bench, but in vain. The chief justice, Sir John Popham, held that disobedience to the writ was ‘a derogation of the royal prerogative of the king’ and Mr Justice Yelverton explained that ‘when anyone is brought into this court with his cause [of ...

Closed Material

Nicholas Phillips, 17 April 2014

... suspect, AF, who had also been subjected to a control order founded solely on closed material. Lord Hoffmann considered that the closed material procedure had received the blessing of the Strasbourg court and therefore satisfied the requirements of Article 6. The other four law lords who sat on the appeal were agreed only that the compatibility of the ...

Death in Belgravia

Rosemary Hill, 5 February 2015

A Different Class of Murder: The Story of Lord Lucan 
by Laura Thompson.
Head of Zeus, 422 pp., £20, November 2014, 978 1 78185 536 2
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... London house, 46 Lower Belgrave Street, the countess was violently assaulted and her husband, John Bingham, seventh earl of Lucan, disappeared, offer all things to all tastes. The story has the violent glamour of crime fiction with the additional thrill of reality, and the facts are just enough to make a narrative while leaving hugely tantalising areas of ...

No More Victors’ Justice?

Stephen Sedley: On Trying War Crimes, 2 January 2003

... watch the execution of a collaborator in the place du Champ de Mars. For him, a moment of historic justice; for the child, an image of cruelty which has never left her. My purpose in recounting these things is not only to mark the memory, out of the hundreds of thousands of courageous individuals who lost or risked their lives throughout Occupied Europe, of ...

Everything and Nothing

Stephen Sedley: Who will speak for the judges?, 7 October 2004

... In June last year, the lord chancellor, Lord Irvine, was dismissed in a cabinet reshuffle. It was announced, not to Parliament but by press release, that his office was not to be filled and that his department was to become part of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, headed by a newly appointed minister, Lord Falconer ...

A Misreading of the Law

Conor Gearty: Why didn’t Campbell sue?, 19 February 2004

Report of the Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Dr David Kelly CMG 
by Lord Hutton.
Stationery Office, 740 pp., £70, January 2004, 0 10 292715 4
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... Blair’s intuitive political genius. It was extraordinary to have reaped from the appointment of Lord Hutton a set of findings which transformed a crisis that threatened to be overwhelming into a vindication of every aspect of the government’s conduct, and of the prime minister’s moral probity in particular. But when the full implications of the report ...

Licence to kill

Paul Foot, 10 February 1994

Spider’s Web: Bush, Saddam, Thatcher and the Decade of Deceit 
by Alan Friedman.
Faber, 455 pp., £17.50, November 1993, 0 571 17002 1
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The Unlikely Spy 
by Paul Henderson.
Bloomsbury, 294 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 7475 1597 2
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... information. As in the US, though much more hesitantly, the ministers were baulked by a judge. Mr Justice Smedley insisted that some of the documents necessary to the defence should be released. From there it was all downhill for the Government. The Matrix Three were triumphantly acquitted and the Government had to set up the Scott Inquiry. A keen huntsman ...

Terms of Art

Conor Gearty: Human Rights Law, 11 March 2010

The Law of Human Rights 
by Richard Clayton and Hugh Tomlinson.
Oxford, 2443 pp., £295, March 2009, 978 0 19 926357 8
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Human Rights Law and Practice 
edited by Anthony Lester, David Pannick and Javan Herberg.
Lexis Nexis, 974 pp., £237, April 2009, 978 1 4057 3686 2
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Human Rights: Judicial Protection in the United Kingdom 
by Jack Beatson, Stephen Grosz, Tom Hickman, Rabinder Singh and Stephanie Palmer.
Sweet and Maxwell, 905 pp., £124, September 2008, 978 0 421 90250 3
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... a coroner, who is appointed under that statute (the 1988 act has been replaced by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, but for these purposes the law remains the same). When there is reasonable cause to suspect that a person has died a violent or unnatural death, or when someone has died suddenly of an unknown cause, or died in prison or in circumstances such as ...

After Gibraltar

Conor Gearty, 16 November 1995

... the organisation he was applauding. A subtler Tory response came from the former Foreign Secretary Lord Howe, who suggested that the case was further evidence of the need immediately to make the European Convention on Human Rights part of UK domestic law, so that its terms could in future be applied by British judges sitting in ordinary cases in ...

In Defence of Rights

Philippe Sands and Helena Kennedy, 3 January 2013

... to withdraw from the EU, leading Tories such as Chris Grayling, the current secretary of state for justice, seem to treat the Convention as little more than red meat to be offered to backbenchers and members, without fully appreciating the risk that talk of withdrawal presents for the system as a whole. When appointed, we were entirely open to the possibility ...


Alan Bennett: A Round of Applause, 7 January 2021

... turned up round the corner in Age Concern.15 September. Much missed these shameful days is Tom Bingham, the ex-lord chief justice and legal philosopher, who would have had Johnson scuttling for cover. Both from Balliol, one a credit to the college, the other not. I don’t relish the ...

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