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Lord Denning: A life of law

12-29-2008, 06:08 AM

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Lord Denning: A life of law



    Quote: Lord Denning: Judgments were "models of simple English"

    Lord Denning was perhaps the greatest law-making judge of the century and the most controversial.
    His achievement was to shape the common law according to his own highly individual vision of society.

    Tom Denning was born in January 1899. His father Charles owned a draper's shop in the Hampshire town of Whitchurch.

    The young Denning loved the place so much he made his home there, in a fine Regency house called The Lawn.

    He first married in 1932, but wife Mary died nine years later. His second wife Joan, whom he married in 1945, died in 1992.

    Rise through ranks

    After taking two first-class degrees at Oxford, the young Denning was called to the Bar in 1923.

    Some 20 years later, he was Mr Justice Denning. After rapid promotion to the Court of Appeal he became a law lord in 1957.



    Lord Denning becomes Master of the Rolls
    But the turning point came in 1962. That was the year he stepped down from the House of Lords to a much more influential post - Master of the Rolls.

    A year later, the public learned of an affair between prostitute Christine Keeler and John Profumo, then Secretary of State for War.

    When the scandal broke Lord Denning was asked by the Conservative Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, to inquire into security aspects of the affair.

    He sat alone and in private, even sending the women shorthand-writers out because he thought some of the evidence was so disgusting.

    As Lord Denning himself remarked, his report was a best-seller. More than 100,000 people bought copies.

    It also put him firmly in the public eye. In an age when judges shunned publicity, Lord Denning became the one judicial figure everybody had heard of.

    During his 20 years as Master of the Rolls, he could choose his own cases and the judges who were to sit with him. So on most issues, he effectively had the last word.

    Not many cases went on to the House of Lords, Britain's highest court of law.

    Law in his own hands

    But in seeking justice Lord Denning, considered himself entitled to get round - or even change - any rule of law that stood in his way. There was no need to wait for legislation.


    "Parliament does it too late," he argued. "It may take years and years before a statute can be passed to amend a bad law.

    "The judge ... should make the law correspond with the justice that the case requires."

    But Lord Denning's critics said his willingness to overturn decided cases made for uncertainty in the law.

    Although he saw himself as champion of the underdog - the ordinary citizen, the consumer, the deserted wife - he supported employers against trade unions, education authorities against students, and the Home Office against immigrants.

    Book provokes fury

    Lord Denning inspired great affection among lawyers and it gave him pleasure to welcome new recruits to the profession. He was still Master of the Rolls at the age of 83.



    Denning makes front-page news
    But his 1982 book What Next in the Law was his downfall. In it, he seemed to suggest some black people were unsuitable to serve on juries.

    His remarks followed a trial over a riot in Bristol. Two jurors on the case threatened to sue him.

    Lord Denning backed down and avoided further conflict by apologising. He then announced he would be retiring.

    Even in retirement he remained busy. He continued writing, including the books Landmarks in Law and Leaves from my Library.

    But his comments in retirement added nothing to his reputation. Another apology followed his claim that the Guildford Four, acquitted on appeal after being jailed for an IRA bombing, were probably guilty of murder all along.

    Controversy in retirement

    Lord Denning's prejudices demonstrated the risks of letting one man dispense justice.

    But they should not detract from a judicial career unique in our time.

    Tom Denning stood firm for freedom under the law, a phrase he coined.

    His whole life was devoted to justice. His creativity was immense and his legacy will last for as long as the law itself.

    His mind remained razor sharp despite old age. And as his epitaph he chose: "Remembrance of me in good works, that is how I should like to be remembered."


    Quoted from

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/290996.stm
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12-29-2008, 06:20 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: الطيب شيقوق)

    Lord Denning, controversial
    Quote: 'people's judge', dies aged 100By Clare Dyer, Legal Correspondent guardian.co.uk, Saturday 6 March 1999 03.04 GMT Article historyLord Denning, the most celebrated English judge of the 20th century, died yesterday just six weeks after his 100th birthday, leaving an unprecedented mark on the development of English law.
    A judge for 38 years, he was known as "the people's judge" for his willingness to override precedent to do what he saw as justice and for his simply-worded judgments delivered in a Hampshire burr.

    An early judicial activist, Lord Denning foreshadowed the move towards moulding the law to suit changing times and circumstances, in a period when most judges adhered to precedent.

    He won a place in the affection of lawyers and the public probably unmatched in the history of the judiciary. Many lawyers regard him as the greatest judge of the century.

    But others felt he too often allowed his prejudices to influence his interpretation of the law, and introduced an uncertainty which made it difficult to predict outcomes and settle cases.

    Lord Hailsham, when Lord Chancellor, said: "The trouble with Tom Denning is he's always re-making the law and we never know where we are." Yesterday he said Lord Denning "was obviously a very great judge and he will go down in history as one of the great and controversial judges of the 20th century".

    As Master of the Rolls, he headed the civil side of the Court of Appeal for 20 years the most influential post in English law exerting an enormous influence on the development of the law from the 1960s to the 1980s. His judgments were often overruled by the House of Lords, but in many cases prompted a later change in the law by Parliament.

    He was the last judge to have the right to stay in the job for life. He joked that he had "every Christian virtue, except resignation". But his eventual decision to retire in 1982 aged 83 was sparked by controversy over remarks he made about black jurors, and illiberal comments in his declining years took some of the shine off his reputation.

    Lord Denning died peacefully at the Hampshire county hospital in Winchester early yesterday. Tributes came from the Lord Chancellor, judges, lawyers, and from the Prime Minister, who revealed that he had appeared before Lord Denning as a young barrister.

    Tony Blair said Lord Denning was one of the great men of his age. "He was always the soul of courtesy, helping out young barristers or someone with a hopeless case and some time I was both.

    "His judgments were a model of lucidity. He was prepared to use the law for its true purpose in the interests of fairness and justice. He had a tremendous feel for ordinary people."

    Former prime ministers Baroness Thatcher and Lord Callaghan also paid tribute.

    Lord Irvine said: "The name Denning was a byword for the law itself. His judgments were models of simple English which ordinary people understood."

    The son of a draper, Lord Denning came from an unusually humble background for a senior judge of his time. At the time a strong regional accent was seen as a disqualification for the higher judiciary, but Tom Denning's first class brain took him to the High Court bench at 45.

    He was quickly promoted to the Court of Appeal and became a law lord at 58, moving to head the Appeal Court five years later.

    He first came to prominence in 1963, when he was asked to carry out an inquiry into the Profumo scandal. His report on the War Secretary's affair with a prostitute was full of what one commentator called "lip-smacking relish".

    In celebrated judgments he championed the deserted wife, giving her an equity in the family home held in her hus band's name, and was the first to use the dusty law of trusts to create property rights for cohabitees, long before cohabitation was common. He also relentlessly overturned decisions of the war pensions tribunal refusing applications for pensions.

    But his own prejudices could come out. One of the most notorious judgments concerned a student teacher sent down for having sex with her boyfriend in her hall of residence. Lord Denning strongly approved, saying a young woman who behaved in such a way would never have made a teacher.

    He took to writing books, reminiscing about his career and calling for changes in the law. It was one of these, published in 1982, which led to him stepping down as Master of the Rolls.

    He suggested that some immigrants might not be suitable as jurors, and that black defendants in a trial arising out of the Bristol race riots in 1982 had used peremptory challenges to pack the jury with "as many coloured people as possible".

    Two black jurors threatened to sue him for libel.

    In retirement, always ready to furnish journalists with a quote, he ran into even more controversy for ill-judged remarks in interviews. In one he told how donning his black cap to pass a death sentence had never troubled him.

    He added: "We shouldn't have all these campaigns to get the Birmingham Six released if they'd been hanged. They'd have been forgotten and the whole community would have been satisfied."

    He was also quoted as saying the Guildford Four were "probably guilty" and referring to European Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan as a "German Jew".

    In 1980 he upheld an appeal by West Midlands police against a civil action by the Birmingham Six over injuries they received in police custody. To accept that the police were lying would open an "appalling vista," he said. But 11 years later he admitted he was wrong, saying the West Midland detectives had "let us all down".

    In his 90s, he hurled himself into campaigns to save his old village school from developers and to preserve public rights of way around his village.

    The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, said: "Lord Denning was the best known and best loved judge of this, or perhaps any, generation. He was a legend in his own lifetime".

    Bench marks
    • Established the "deserted wife's equity", giving her the right to remain in the matrimonial home.

    • Ruled that an unmarried partner who contributes to buying or improving the home may claim a share under trust law.

    • Invented the Mareva injunction, which freezes assets such as a bank account to pending litigation.

    • Allowed Sir Freddie Laker to compete against British Airways, a ruling that paved the way for cheap transatlantic flights.

    • Decided that if a man was fit when he joined the armed forces and unfit when he left it was up to the Government to disprove the disability was due to his service, not to the man to prove it.

    • Held for the first time that a local council should be liable for the negligence of a council surveyor "in passing work as good when in truth it is bad".

    • Held that where someone loses out through relying on a negligent misstatement, the person who made it should be liable.


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/1999/mar/06/claredyer1
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12-29-2008, 06:45 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: الطيب شيقوق)

    As a passenger in his neighbour’s car one day, Lord Denning was blamed for not wearing a safety belt. "Lord Denning, you
    know it's the law," his driver advised. With a characteristic chuckle Lord Denning replied: "I am the law".


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12-29-2008, 06:52 AM

عماد محمود علي

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: الطيب شيقوق)

    Quote: I am the law

    who? you? I can believe !!!!! Mamsoook,Masnooh
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12-29-2008, 07:14 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: عماد محمود علي)

    Umda Al3arees

    Quote: who? you? I can believe !!!!! Mamsoook,Masnooh


    Loooooooool wa heeeeeeeeeee3
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12-29-2008, 07:23 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: الطيب شيقوق)

    Many thanks colleage Shaigoog for this interesting post.

    I think his role will be more understood if you stated briefly the nature of the Common Law sysem and its reliance on the Judicial precedents,the unwritten Constitution of UK......etc

    Thank you again for recalling a very good era of our life time....

    Regards
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12-29-2008, 07:50 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: أبوبكر أبوالقاسم)

    Quote: I think his role will be more understood if you stated briefly the nature of the Common Law sysem and its reliance on the Judicial precedents,the unwritten Constitution of UK......etc


    Dear Abu Algasim

    Thanx a lot for your very intersting remarks


    Your proposal is very nice indeed as it constitutes a road map for our discussion

    Common law refers to law and the corresponding legal system developed through decisions of courts and similar tribunals called case law rather than through legislative statutes or executive action

    Quote: Common law is law created and refined by judges: a decision in a currently pending legal case depends on decisions in previous cases and affects the law to be applied in future cases. When there is no authoritative statement of the law, judges have the authority and duty to make law by creating precedent.[1] The body of precedent is called "common law" and it binds future decisions. In future cases, when parties disagree on what the law is, an idealized common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision (this principle is known as stare decisis). If, however, the court finds that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from all previous cases, it will decide as a "matter of first impression." Thereafter, the new decision becomes precedent, and will bind future courts under the principle of stare decisis.

    In practice, common law systems are considerably more complicated than the idealized system described above. The decisions of a court are binding only in a particular jurisdiction, and even within a given jurisdiction, some courts have more power than others. For example, in most jurisdictions, decisions by appellate courts are binding on lower courts in the same jurisdiction and on future decisions of the same appellate court, but decisions of non-appellate courts are only non-binding persuasive authority. Interactions between common law, constitutional law, statutory law and regulatory law also give rise to considerable complexity. However stare decisis, the principle that similar cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules so that they will reach similar results, lies at the heart of all common law systems.

    Common law legal systems are in widespread use, particularly in those nations which trace their legal heritage to Britain, including the United Kingdom, most of the United States and Canada, and other former colonies of the British Empire.


    judges are obligated to follow the precedents established in prior decisions. In the United States, which uses a common law system in its federal courts and most of its state courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stated: Stare...


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_of_first_impression

    Aha Legitni keef?
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12-29-2008, 08:15 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: الطيب شيقوق)
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12-29-2008, 08:28 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: الطيب شيقوق)

    Quote: Common law originally developed under the inquisitorial system in England during the 12th and 13th centuries,[12] as the collective judicial decisions that were based in tradition, custom and precedent. Such forms of legal institutions and culture bear resemblance to those which existed historically in societies where precedent and custom have at times played a substantial role in the legal process, including Germanic law[13] and particularly Islamic law.[14]

    The form of reasoning used in common law is known as casuistry or case-based reasoning. The common law, as applied in civil cases (as distinct from criminal cases), was devised as a means of compensating someone for wrongful acts known as torts, including both intentional torts and torts caused by negligence, and as developing the body of law recognizing and regulating contracts. The type of procedure practiced in common law courts is known as the adversarial system; this is also a development of the common law.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law#1._Common_law_a...w_and_regulatory_law
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12-29-2008, 09:26 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: الطيب شيقوق)

    ٍٍSheega

    Quote: Aha Legitni keef?


    Tamaaaaaaaaaaaaaam,
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12-29-2008, 10:41 AM

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Re: Lord Denning: A life of law (Re: أبوبكر أبوالقاسم)

    Quote: Tamaaaaaaaaaaaaaam,


    Thanx
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