English Law under Two Elizabeths: The Elizabethan Inheritance

English Law under Two Elizabeths: The Elizabethan Inheritance
28 Nov 2019, 18:00 to 28 Nov 2019, 19:00
The Chancellor's Hall, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


London Hamlyn Lecture 2020

English Law under Two Elizabeths: The Elizabethan Inheritance

Delivered by Professor Sir John Baker, Q.C., LL.B., Ph.D. (Lond.), M.A., LL.D. (Cantab.), Hon. LL.D. (Chicago), F.B.A.; Downing Professor Emeritus of the Laws of England in the University of Cambridge

The third Hamlyn lecture will look back from the present. Much of the common law of contract and tort still rests on Elizabethan foundations. So do the principles of administrative law. The criminal law still includes some major common-law offences, such as murder and manslaughter; it is less severe, but it has become deeply complicated and seemingly impossible to manage efficiently. There is more statute and more regulation, but the principal changes have been in the legal system. Debt-collection, which rarely troubles the superior courts, is essentially timeless. But contentious litigation is less often conducted between ordinary people – who can no longer afford it – and more typically takes the form of vertical claims against authority. Civil juries have gone and the law courts are less familiar to the general public than 350 years ago; procedure is more arcane, and the law is arguably even less intelligible. The lectures will end with the question of what has been gained and lost since the first Elizabethan age.

Organised in association with the Hamlyn Trust

This is the 3rd and final 2020 Hamlyn Lecture.  The first two are being hosted by the University of Cambridge on 19 November and the University of Reading on 21 November.  Further information is available on the Hamlyn website  

This public lecture is free but advance booking is required.


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