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Soft Spur

A.W.B. Simpson

3 February 1983
What next in the Law 
by Lord Denning.
Butterworth, 352 pp., £9.95, July 1982, 0 406 17602 7
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... When the publishers announced yet another book by LordDenning, the fourth in three years, and one with the alarming title What next in the Law, I recall feeling a sense of foreboding: what next indeed? Recalled shortly after publication because of some ...
19 June 1980
The Due Process of Law 
by Lord Denning.
Butterworth, 263 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 406 17607 8
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... This, the companion volume to The Discipline of Law, completes LordDenning’s current legal testament – his witness, until his next book, to the cause of justice. He writes on difficult questions of law for the pleasure of ordinary folk: and he succeeds. Yet, for all his ...

That Man Griffith

John Griffith

25 October 1990
Lord DenningA Biography 
by Edmund Heward.
Weidenfeld, 243 pp., £15, September 1990, 9780297811381
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... I should declare an interest. Anthony Sampson in The Changing Anatomy of Britain quotes LordDenning dismissing attacks on a class-based judiciary: ‘The youngsters believe that we come from a narrow background – it’s all nonsense – they get it from that man Griffith.’ Lord Reid was a ...
18 February 1982
... judiciary does not often produce national cult figures, and less often still two at a time. There are many wise and learned men – and even a woman or two – on the judicial bench, but only Lords Denning and Scarman have become darlings of the media in the 1980s – praised for their plain speech, their courage, their humanity, their championship of the underdog, and their implacable opposition to ...
23 July 1987
An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 
by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy.
Cape, 268 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 224 02347 0
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Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward 
by Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79122 2
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... the episode occurred. ‘This letter,’ they continued, ‘also records our feelings that it is now appropriate to consign the episode to history.’ It was an odd letter and I would be surprised if Lord Goodman had drafted it, even though it comes from his office. (It was Hailsham who said in June 1963: ‘A great party is not to be brought down by a woman of easy virtue and a proved liar ...
3 September 1987
... be to say we were wrong when we knew we were right – to commit a sort of private perjury. It would be unwise to protest. And one must remember that our judges are, by definition, rich men. A Law Lord earns £71,400 a year; our senior judges are recruited from the comfortable upper-middle classes and from amongst barristers earning hundreds of thousands a year. The latest antics of the Law Lord...

Big Fish

Frank Kermode

9 September 1993
Tell Them I’m on my Way 
by Arnold Goodman.
Chapmans, 464 pp., £20, August 1993, 1 85592 636 9
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Not an Englishman: Conversations with Lord​ Goodman 
by David Selbourne.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 237 pp., £17.99, August 1993, 1 85619 365 9
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... The portrait of Lord Goodman on the jacket of his memoirs is from a photograph; the one on David Selbourne’s book is from a portrait by Lucian Freud. In the first he looks severe but quizzical, a kind man but not a man ...

In Memoriam

Paul Sieghart

19 March 1981
Mandy 
by Mandy Rice-Davies and Shirley Flack.
Joseph, 224 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 7181 1974 6
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... later admitted it. Suddenly, the police began to investigate Ward; he was prosecuted, tried before Mr Justice Marshall and a jury; convicted; and committed suicide. Passus et sepultus est. Finally, LordDenning inquired into it all as a one-man Tribunal, and duly reported. And that, bar the strident shouting, moralising and general excitement, was that. When Harold Macmillan, the prime minister of ...
7 December 1989
... Vincent when the murder was committed. Because there was evidence against Vincent, Michael, because he said he was with him, must be guilty too. Again and again during both appeals the words of LordDenning, in an earlier appeal – related to the case, echoed through the court. LordDenning said: ‘If the six men win, it will mean that the police were guilty of perjury, that they were guilty of ...

Law and Class

Francis Bennion

1 May 1980
Respectable Rebels 
edited by Roger King.
Hodder, 200 pp., £10.95, October 1979, 0 340 23164 5
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The Judge 
by Patrick Devlin.
Oxford, 207 pp., £7.50, September 1979, 0 19 215949 6
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Human Rights 
edited by F.E. Dowrick.
Saxon House, 223 pp., £9.70, July 1979, 0 566 00281 7
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In on the Act 
by Sir Harold Kent.
Macmillan, 273 pp., £8.95, September 1979, 0 333 27120 3
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Law, Justice and Social Policy 
by Rosalind Brooke.
Croom Helm, 136 pp., £7.95, October 1979, 0 85664 636 9
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Inequality, Crime and Public Policy 
by John Braithwaite.
Routledge, 332 pp., £10.75, November 1979, 0 7100 0323 4
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... when one considers lawyers. So does the idea that law is an engine of class oppression. An effective way to make it so would be for one class to run the legal system, which the middle class do. Lord Devlin reminds us that in America lawyers run the political system also: ‘The Supreme Court has almost from its inception been an organ of government. Professor Cox endorses as up to date De ...
22 August 1996
The Dictionary of National Biography 1986-1990 
edited by C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 607 pp., £50, June 1996, 0 19 865212 7
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... said, much of the value of the DNB lies in the light it sheds on the lives of the second-rate, meaning second-rank, about whom it is not easy to find information elsewhere. If we do not need it for Lord Blake’s long piece on Harold Macmillan, we certainly need it for the life of a lesser prime minister, Lord O’ Neill of Northern Ireland. This is the man, we are reminded, who on retirement said ...
6 March 2014
... to Catholicism) and Sir Edgar Speyer, on the ground that, although both were British subjects, they were not British-born. A full court of the King’s Bench, presided over by the chief justice, Lord Reading, was assembled to hear the claim. It was opposed on behalf of the Crown by the attorney-general, F.E. Smith. Although the High Court, and subsequently the Court of Appeal, rejected it, the ...

Blame Robert Maxwell

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: How Public Inquiries Go Wrong

17 March 2016
... to justify criticism of an individual to that individual – when the individual gives evidence, for example. Perhaps even this is not required: the ‘standards of perfection’ might require it, Lord Justice Lawton said in the first Court of Appeal judgment, but inquiries need not be perfect. When he first considered the question, LordDenning said that individuals should be afforded ‘a fair ...

UK Law

John Horgan

16 August 1990
Stolen Years: Before and After Guildford 
by Paul Hill and Ronan Bennett.
Doubleday, 287 pp., £12.99, June 1990, 0 385 40125 6
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Proved Innocent 
by Gerry Conlon.
Hamish Hamilton, 234 pp., £12.99, June 1990, 0 241 13065 4
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Cage Eleven 
by Gerry Adams.
Brandon, 156 pp., £4.95, June 1990, 0 86322 114 9
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The Poisoned Tree: The untold truth about the Police conspiracy to discredit John Stalker and destroy me 
by Kevin Taylor and Keith Mumby.
Sidgwick, 219 pp., £15, May 1990, 0 283 06056 5
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... Kevin Taylor got off, didn’t he? Retrospective justice is at least better than no justice at all, and the Court of Appeal will always get it right in the end. This is not a view which is taken by LordDenning. British justice, he said after the quashing of the Guildford Four verdict, was ‘in ruins’. It is important, however, to pinpoint the cause of his concern. It is not the action of the ...

My Little Lollipop

Jenny Diski: Christine Keeler

22 March 2001
The Truth at Last: My Story 
by Christine Keeler and Douglas Thompson.
Sidgwick, 279 pp., £16.99, February 2001, 0 283 07291 1
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... almost no one in society he didn’t massage. When he wasn’t manipulating them, he was sketching them, having discovered a talent for making likenesses. The Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret, Lord Snowdon, Archbishop Makarios and Adolf Eichmann all sat for portraits. He was an invitee at all the fashionable parties, and a man who specialised in providing fun for his friends. Keeler met him ...

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