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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 Tocqueville ...

Sitting it out

Paul Sieghart

2 August 1984
Two men were aquitted 
by Percy Hoskins.
Secker, 221 pp., £9.95, May 1984, 0 436 20161 5
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... the outcome of the trial, nor would he have done if he could. But there was one thing he could do, and that was to nominate the trial judge. His choice was inspired: he decided to send Mr Justice Devlin to the Old Bailey for that session. PatrickDevlin had been an outstanding practitioner at the commercial Bar, his manner about as remote as it could be from the fashionable knock-about jury practice ...
6 August 1992
Sex and Reason 
by Richard Posner.
Harvard, 458 pp., £23.95, May 1992, 0 674 80279 9
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... calmly about how and to what extent to regulate it. But his pursuit of this aim is vitiated by his belief that there is a gulf between rational and moral thinking. He follows Fitzjames Stephen and PatrickDevlin in equating disgust or aversion to a practice with its being immoral. He thinks that morality, so defined, must be respected even when it runs counter to economic analysis. We then end up with ...

Was he? Had he?

Corey Robin: In the Name of Security

19 October 2006
The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government 
by David Johnson.
Chicago, 277 pp., £13, May 2006, 0 226 40190 1
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Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security 
by David Cole and James Dempsey.
New Press, 320 pp., £10.99, March 2006, 1 56584 939 6
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General Ashcroft: Attorney at War 
by Nancy Baker.
Kansas, 320 pp., £26.50, April 2006, 0 7006 1455 9
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State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration 
by James Risen.
Free Press, 240 pp., £18.99, January 2006, 0 7432 7578 0
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Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush 
by Eric Boehlert.
Free Press, 352 pp., $25, May 2006, 0 7432 8931 5
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... Committee in the UK recommended, among other things, that gay sex between consenting adults in private be decriminalised. Speaking at the British Academy in March 1959, the conservative jurist PatrickDevlin bridled at the committee’s contention that there is ‘a realm of private morality and immorality which is, in brief and crude terms, not the law’s business’ and that only concrete acts ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: In Donegal

8 October 1992
... not the partitioned six or the historic nine. Donegal seems to be inescapably part of the “North”, whereas Cavan and even Monaghan have a less decided orientation. I cannot, for example, think of Patrick Kavanagh as a Northern writer, any more than I would wish to allocate Peadar O’Donnell to the South.’ Donegal is part of the North, yes, but it’s also the place many Northerners go to escape ...

Remember Me

John Bossy: Hamlet

24 May 2001
Hamlet in Purgatory 
by Stephen Greenblatt.
Princeton, 322 pp., £19.95, May 2001, 0 691 05873 3
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... smoke of a furnace, and floating them like aerial swimming instructors up a tube or manhole into dazzling light. The narratives that Greenblatt looks at are mainly versions of the story of Saint Patrick’s Purgatory, situated plausibly enough in the middle of Lough Derg in deepest Ulster, whose penitential horrors might be substituted for purgation after death. Thence to ghosts. By the 15th century ...
1 November 1984
Station Island 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 123 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 571 13301 0
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Sweeney Astray: A Version 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 85 pp., £6.95, October 1984, 0 571 13360 6
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Rich 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 109 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 571 13215 4
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... The title-sequence of Seamus Heaney’s sixth collection finds him on Station Island, Lough Derg, more commonly known as St Patrick’s Purgatory. It’s the setting for a pilgrimage undertaken by thousands of Irish men and women each year. For three days they fast and pray, deprive themselves of sleep, and walk barefoot round ...

Do, Not, Love, Make, Beds

David Wheatley: Irish literary magazines

3 June 2004
Irish Literary Magazines: An Outline History and Descriptive Bibliography 
Irish Academic, 318 pp., £35, January 2003, 0 7165 2751 0Show More
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... wakefulness’, before leaving the Free State to its slumbers again after just one issue. Deprived of an outlet, the holy trinity of 1930s poetic Modernism, Thomas MacGreevy, Brian Coffey and Denis Devlin, took their wares abroad, or went into hibernation (virtually giving up poetry, MacGreevy ended up writing for the Capuchin Annual). Clyde’s book is full of references to crestfallen and embittered ...

Green Martyrs

Patricia Craig

24 July 1986
The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse 
edited by Thomas Kinsella.
Oxford, 423 pp., £12.50, May 1986, 0 19 211868 4
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The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry 
edited by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 415 pp., £10.95, May 1986, 0 571 13760 1
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Irish Poetry after Joyce 
by Dillon Johnston.
Dolmen, 336 pp., £20, September 1986, 0 85105 437 4
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... like a full stop, and then with the death of Joyce a new beginning, as back after back was turned on all approaches to poetry not in keeping with the realities of the day. In that year, 1941, Patrick Kavanagh was writing a 757-line poem on the charmlessness of Irish country life, which nevertheless manages to encompass a good deal of its pungency: The potato-gatherers like mechanised scarecrows ...

Bunnymooning

Philip French

6 June 1996
The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives 
by Sebastian Faulks.
Hutchinson, 309 pp., £16.99, April 1996, 0 09 179211 8
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... interesting things had happened there – the incarceration of Oscar Wilde, T.E. Lawrence losing the manuscript of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and the meeting between Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse in the Patrick Hamilton novel of that title. But he had a devoted reader there, and I believe that the most revealing piece Jeremy wrote that term was directed at Jack Wolfenden, who in 1954 had been appointed by ...

His Peach Stone

Christopher Tayler: J.G. Farrell

2 December 2010
J.G. Farrell in His Own Words: Selected Letters and Diaries 
edited by Lavinia Greacen.
Cork, 464 pp., €19.95, September 2010, 978 1 85918 476 9
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... A coincidence: I wrote the first page of ‘It’ on St Patrick’s Day with Irish pipers tuning up down in the street 12 floors beneath. In the parade along 5th Avenue they carried banner portraits of Sean McDermott, Kevin Barry and, no doubt, other martyrs. I ...

Subduing the jury

E.P. Thompson

4 December 1986
... and Welsh peoples are less evident. Not one of them appears to be qualified as a historian, and I do not notice any historians who were called to give evidence. (An exception should be made for Lord Devlin, whose contributions to legal history have been distinguished, and whose evidence – which has not been published – appears to have run directly contrary to the Committee’s recommendations.) Of ...

Bloody Sunday Report

Murray Sayle: Back to Bloody Sunday

11 July 2002
... and my) memory. The house-ends facing the Corner have giant murals in powerful, Guernica-style black and white. One shows a body lying lifeless on the pavement below. Another depicts Bernadette Devlin MP, as she then was, throwing down stones to build a barricade. Another has a British soldier breaking into a house with a sledgehammer; while on the house-end next door a Republican hero stands ...
1 April 1982
... and highly influential 19th-century preacher who did much to counter Presbyterian radicalism. This Paisley is an autochthonous bigot who once organised a mock-mass on the platform of the Ulster Hall. Patrick Marrinan, his biographer, describes the sinister shabbiness of this occasion, the nervous fascination of the audience laughing at a renegade Spanish priest reciting unfamiliar Latin words, the canny ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett

24 June 1993
... the political Right. By contrast, supporters of the Guildford Four are a politically heterogeneous bunch: at one end, Cardinal Basil Hume, Robert Kee, Merlyn Rees, Lord Scarman and the late Lord Devlin; at the other, rhetoric-ridden, far-left Trotskyist groupings. And in between the world and its dog. The only thing on which all are agreed – some with more knowledge of the facts than others – ...

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