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What are judges for?

Conor Gearty, 25 January 2001

... Hannen, President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the Court of Appeal; and Sir John Day and Sir Archibald Levin Smith, both from the High Court: ‘Unionists to a man,’ as Roy Jenkins describes them in his Life of Gladstone. But what were these judges thinking of, presiding over a tribunal to which none of the ordinary rules applied, set ...

Above it all

Stephen Sedley, 7 April 1994

Suing Judges: A Study of Judicial Immunity 
by Abimbola Olowofoyeku.
Oxford, 234 pp., £27.50, December 1993, 0 19 825793 7
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The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord Chancellor’s Office 
by Robert Stevens.
Oxford, 221 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 19 825815 1
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... Queen’s Counsel. Still, as long as it’s men in wigs ... The real problem is the one to which John Griffith and others have repeatedly called attention: that the judiciary comes very largely from a tranche of society whose values, culture, données and attitudes are homogeneous because they are socially and educationally inbred. Less attention has ...

Lords loses out

R.W. Johnson: Basil D’Oliveira and racism in sport, 16 December 2004

Basil D’Oliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story 
by Peter Oborne.
Little, Brown, 274 pp., £16.99, June 2004, 0 316 72572 2
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Reflections on a Life in Sport 
by Sam Ramsamy and Edward Griffiths.
Greenhouse, 168 pp., £7.99, July 2004, 0 620 32251 9
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... for the 1968-69 tour to South Africa, leading to the tour’s cancellation by a furious John Vorster – aroused such strong emotions. There was never any doubt that Vorster’s government had acted abominably, but what hurt just as much was the suspicion – always ringingly denied by the English cricket establishment – that they had deliberately ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘BlacKkKlansman’, 27 September 2018

... who you are taken to be? When and how do you assert or hide who you are? Stallworth, played by John David Washington complete with 1970s Afro, infiltrates the Klan on the telephone and with his name; a white colleague using the name does the actual hanging out with the bad guys. So ‘black’ here means imagined to be black, and the word in context needs ...

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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... on the sole ground that, given time, judges will fill out the detail. Yet, as Professor Griffith remarked in his 1979 Chorley lecture (not reprinted here), law is no substitute for politics and the precise delimitation of legal rules should not be settled by ‘the imprecisions of Bills of Rights or the illiberal instincts of judges’. You do not ...

Diary

Sheila Hale: Dysphasia, 5 March 1998

... be it is also one of the more worrying symptoms of a bizarre and poignant neurological disorder. John suffers from dysphasia – or aphasia as it is also called; and it is one of the many paradoxes of his condition that although he can hear perfectly, he cannot monitor what he is saying, or rather not saying. The buffer which in normal speech-processing ...

Dangerous Play

Mike Selvey, 23 May 1985

Gubby Allen: Man of Cricket 
by E.W. Swanton.
Hutchinson, 311 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 09 159780 3
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Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack: 1985 
edited by John Woodcock.
Wisden, 1280 pp., £11.95, April 1985, 0 947766 00 6
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... newspapers.* Last summer? Well, that problem was solved last week when the Gospel according to St John, all 1300 pages of it, beat the dust out of the doormat. It is a sure sign that spring is in the air when Wisden arrives. While there is a good twelve months browse therein, one flick through is enough to stir the brain cells. It is the cricketer’s holy ...

How Movies End

David Thomson: John Boorman’s Quiet Ending, 20 February 2020

Conclusions 
by John Boorman.
Faber, 237 pp., £20, February, 978 0 571 35379 8
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... is this, written by the man who made it?It would be hard to deliver a brief biographical sketch of John Boorman that was tidy or plausible. Yet it would be harder still to leave a reader in any doubt about his integrity, his passion and his blithe disdain for success, more radiant than gloomy. At 87, it’s his life, and he has resolved to treat it as a ...

Hating dogs

Julian Barnes, 17 September 1981

Words on the Air 
by John Sparrow.
Collins, 163 pp., £7.95, August 1981, 0 00 216876 6
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... save Venice, by protecting it from pollution and installing a new sewage system. Simultaneously, John Sparrow was also turning his attention to the plight of the stricken city. In one of his major letters to the Times, the then Warden of All Souls addressed the urgent question of Venetian dogshit. He noted with regret the inadequacy of the local decree which ...

Ikonography

Keith Kyle, 4 July 1985

Eisenhower. Vol. I: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect 1890-1952 Vol. II: The President 1952-1969 
by Stephen Ambrose.
Allen and Unwin, 637 pp., £12.50, February 1984, 0 04 923073 5
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Ike’s Letters to a Friend: 1941-1958 
edited by Robert Griffith.
Kansas, 211 pp., $19.95, October 1984, 0 7006 0257 7
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... far when he writes that ‘Dulles carried messages; he did not make policy.’ Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was a powerful formulator of policies. Eisenhower had a rather arm’s-length view of the separation of powers: Congress was not normally to be too much chivvied by the White House, nor was Congressional curiosity about his executive office to ...

That’s America

Stephen Greenblatt, 29 September 1988

‘Ronald Reagan’, the Movie, and Other Episodes in Political Demonology 
by Michael Rogin.
California, 366 pp., £19.95, April 1987, 0 520 05937 9
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... Convention was a glamorous performance. But at one point, trying to reproach the Democrats with John Adams’s phrase ‘Facts are stubborn things,’ he slipped and declared instead: ‘Facts are stupid things.’ At the moment he wished to invoke an intransigent, incontrovertible reality which would supposedly confound his enemies and bear out the ...

That’s Liquor!

Nick James, 7 March 1996

Leaving Las Vegas 
directed by Mike Figgis.
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... making hundreds of temperance movies. Brownlow reckons that the ‘alcoholic genius’ D.W. Griffith ‘made 13 pictures against the evils of drink at Biograph’. Griffith’s hypocritical example is more typical of Hollywood than W.C. Fields’s ‘lust for alcohol’ in It’s the Old Army Game (1926) or ...

The Vulgarity of Success

Murray Sayle: Everest and Empire, 7 May 1998

Eric Shipton: Everest and Beyond 
by Peter Steele.
Constable, 290 pp., £18.99, March 1998, 0 09 478300 4
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... of the expedition’s other climbers were British, as was its finance, and its leader, Colonel John Hunt (now Baron Hunt of Lanfair Waterdine and a Knight of the Garter) was on secondment from the British Army. On descending, Ed Hillary, as he is universally known, shouted to his fellow New Zealander George Lowe, another climber of great ...

tarry easty

Roy Foster: Joyce in Trieste, 30 November 2000

The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste 1904-20 
by John McCourt.
Lilliput, 306 pp., £25, June 2000, 1 901866 45 9
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... has placed all the relevant Joycean locations in James Joyce: Triestine Itineraries. And now John McCourt, founder and director of the annual Trieste Joyce School has published a study of Joyce’s life and work in that first decade of exile, with a brief coda covering his return after the end of the war. The details offered are not often new: after ...

Nora Barnacle: Pictor Ignotus

Sean O’Faolain, 2 August 1984

... prices too, chief justices, lords lieutenant, lords mayor, George Moore, Sir William Orpen, Sir John Lavery, Walter Osborne, Jack Yeats, my famous namesake his brother Bill, Padraic Colum, John Millington Synge, young painters like Paddy Tuohy who really did paint old J.S. Joyce and died of his own hand, poor Sean ...

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