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Law and the Whirligig of Time

By: Stephen Sedley
Media of Law and the Whirligig of Time
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Published: 17-05-2018
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 304
ISBN: 9781509917099
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £30.00
Online price : £27.00
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About 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 and critical pieces on a number of figures from the legal and musical worlds. The final part is more personal, going back to the author's days at the bar, and then forward to some parting reflections.

Table Of Contents

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?

27. Rudy Narayan: 1938–1998
29. Lord Diplock: 1907–1985
30. Lord Scarman: 1911–2004
31. Lord Bingham: 1933–2010
32. Lord Mansfi eld: 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


“Before, during and after his time as a judge, Stephen Sedley has provided an invaluable running commentary on the law... These collections provide an opportunity to understand and engage with the whats, whys and wherefores of the judicial role at a time of evolution for the judiciary and the law.” –  James Lee and Simon Lee, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London and The Open University, Milton Keynes, Legal Studies

“I would recommend this book to libraries that collect current British law and those seeking an intellectually stimulating take on British legal affairs” –  Katherine Laundy, Library of the Supreme Court, Canadian Law Library Review

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