Law and the Whirligig of Time
For over 30 years, first as a QC, then as a judge, and latterly as a visiting professor of law at Oxford, Stephen Sedley has written and lectured about aspects of the law that do not always get the attention they deserve.
His first anthology of essays,Ashes and Sparks, was praised in the New York Times by Ian McEwan for its “exquisite, finely balanced prose, the prickly humour, the knack of artful quotation and an astonishing historical grasp”. “You could have no interest in the law,” McEwan wrote, “and read his book for pure intellectual delight.”
The present volume contains more recent articles by Stephen Sedley on the law, many of them from the London Review of Books, and lectures given to a variety of audiences. The first part is concerned with law as part of history - Feste’s ‘whirligig of time’; the second part with law and rights. The third part is a group of biographical sketches of well-known and less well-known judges and jurists.
The final part of the book is more personal: it goes back to the author’s days at the Bar, then forward to some parting reflections.
Contents: History 1. Law as History 2. The History of English Law 3. Human Rights and the Whirligig of Time 4. A Glorious Revolution? 5. Judges and Ministers 6. Obscenity and the Margin of Appreciation 7. Does the Separation of Powers Still Work?
Law and Rights 8. The Role of the Judge 9. Anonymity and the Right to Lie 10. Dealing with Strasbourg 11. Speaking in Tongues 12. The Public Interest 13. Judicial Misconduct 14. Recusal:
When Should a Judge Not Be a Judge? 15. The Right to Die 16. The Brexit Case 17. The Supreme Court 18. Arbitration 19. Detention without Trial 20. Originalism 21. Colonels in Horsehair 22. The British Constitution 23. A New Constitution? 24. Freedom of Expression 25. The Abuse of Power 26. A Compensation Culture?
People 27. Rudy Narayan: 1938-1998 29. Lord Diplock: 1907-1985 30. Lord Scarman: 1911-2004 31. Lord Bingham: 1933-2010 32. Lord Mansfield: 1705-1793 33. Sir Thomas More: 1478-1535 34. Lord Denning: 1899-1999 35. Lord Sumption and Public Law 36. Bob Dylan 37. Ewan MacColl: 1915-1989 Occasional Pieces 38. A Commonplace Book 39. Under Milk Wood Lost and Found 40. Getting It Wrong Afterword: A Different Cat