John Griffith

John Griffith is Emeritus Professor of Public Law in the University of London.

That Man Griffith

John Griffith, 25 October 1990

I should declare an interest. Anthony Sampson in The Changing Anatomy of Britain quotes Lord Denning dismissing attacks on a class-based judiciary: ‘The youngsters believe that we come from a narrow background – it’s all nonsense – they get it from that man Griffith.’’


My dear, the noise

15 October 1998

I knew the story, located in the Somme, in the middle to late Thirties.

Age of Consent

22 January 1998

Reviewing Heather James’s book Shakespeare’s Troy, Frank Kermode (LRB, 22 January) refers to the author’s view of the purpose of The Tempest as aligning the ‘theatre with constitutional theory that derives royal authority from the people, who technically have the right to withdraw their consent and leave the prince stranded on a desert island’. No one, in the time of James...

Dangerous Error

8 May 1997

The working of the Constitution of the United Kingdom depends on the relationship between government, Parliament and the judiciary. Since the end of the Eighties, when respect for judges had sunk to a new low, efforts have been made to improve their public image and to enhance their status. Mr Justice Sedley’s article on the common law and the Constitution (LRB, 8 May) is part of this process....
Participating in a dialogue with Lord Lester (Letters, 6 June) is a twisty business. He writes that I do not explain why I believe English judges are uniquely incapable of interpreting and applying a Bill of Rights. I expressed no such belief, nor anything like it. He writes that I do not explain why I regard judges of the European Court of Human Rights as better qualified to protect our basic rights...


19 December 1991

The Director of Charter 88’s Constitutional Convention, Mr Paul Hirst, writes that his organisation is ‘the one place where a creative dialogue can take place between the different protagonists of change’. He then replies to arguments against a Bill of Rights from a distinguished civil libertarian, Mr Stephen Sedley QC, by imputing to him a mental disease. Is this Charter 88’s...


5 December 1991

It is not for me to say whether Professor Pulzer is correct in describing me as an elderly Whig (LRB, 5 December 1991), but to prevent confusion may I say that my preference for Parliament over an appointed unaccountable cabal of senior lawyers as the ultimate arbiter of citizens’ rights is based on the hope that one day a socialist government will, through Parliament, deprive large numbers of...

Long March

Martin Pugh, 2 June 1983

The trouble with timely books is that time is apt to run out rather suddenly for them. No doubt when the 20 members of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet planned the essays in Renewal they expected...

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Post-Bourgeois Man

Peter Jenkins, 1 October 1981

He has come a long way. Born the Hon. Anthony Wedgwood Benn, he inevitably became by public-school nickname ‘Wedgie’ and later, by his own socialist deed-poll, plain ‘Tony...

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