MAGNA CARTA AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN FAMILY PROCEEDINGS
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We had a surprise in January 2012 when a practising QC was parachuted straight into the Supreme Court (as the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords became in 2009). But if there were expressions of discontent they were definitely sub rosa since the man in question, Jonathan Sumption QC, was then, and has since proved himself to be, pre-eminently qualified for the position. He is one of our foremost medieval historians, a Fellow of Magdalen College who taught History, before leaving to pursue a career at the Bar, where he rose to dizzy heights. His as yet uncompleted history of the Hundred Years’ War has received the highest praise. So it perhaps was not surprising that in this octocentenial year he should have been asked by the Friends of the British Library (an audience I warrant as challenging as this) to speak to them about Magna Carta on 9 March 2015. If I may say so, his address ‘Magna Carta then and now’ is a masterpiece. It completes the destruction of the hermeneutical myth originated by Sir Edward Coke which had been commenced by William McKechnie in his landmark essay published in 1905.
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