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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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... 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’s observation that hardly a political question arises in ...

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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... 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. Patrick Devlin 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 of Melford ...

Counting the kisses

Tony Honoré, 6 August 1992

Sex and Reason 
by Richard Posner.
Harvard, 458 pp., £23.95, May 1992, 0 674 80279 9
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... belief that there is a gulf between rational and moral thinking. He follows Fitzjames Stephen and Patrick Devlin 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 a society regulated partly by economic reason and ...

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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... private be decriminalised. Speaking at the British Academy in March 1959, the conservative jurist Patrick Devlin 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 of injury or harm should be prosecuted and punished ...


Tom Paulin: In Donegal, 8 October 1992

... 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 from ‘Norn Ireland’, as we sometimes call ...

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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... 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 the average ghost was a soul in Purgatory (I think they ...

Sweaney Peregraine

Paul Muldoon, 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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by Craig Raine.
Faber, 109 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 571 13215 4
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... 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 the station ‘beds’ – circles of rough stones said to ...

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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... 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 move Along the side-fall of the hill ... Austin Clarke ...

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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... 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 editorials, and eighty years after the Klaxon, a recent ...


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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... 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 the Home Secretary (the egregious, homophobic David ...

Subduing the jury

E.P. Thompson, 4 December 1986

... 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 course, the historical profession may be faulted for not ...

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 didn’t stay long because the wind was bitter, the pavement covered in slush and my bones frozen to the marrow ...

Paisley’s Progress

Tom Paulin, 1 April 1982

... 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 showmanship, the plastic buckets brimming with ...

Bloody Sunday Report

Murray Sayle: Back to Bloody Sunday, 11 July 2002

... 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 beside a gaunt, suffering Christ. The effect is that of a ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... 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 – is that Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong and ...

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