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Irving Stevens


Tom Bingham (Allen Lane, London 2010) 224 pp ISBN 978-1846140907Writing this piece, in the aftermath of the worst civil unrest to have afflicted our major cities in a generation, I am struck by how infrequently “the rule of law” has been invoked by those who have spoken out in condemnation of the violence. In that respect, the riots of 2011 stand in marked contrast to those of 1985 and 1990, following the miners’ strike and the introduction of the controversial “poll tax” respectively, when politicians (for whom, evidently, the term was little more than a synonym for “law and order”) seemed to be falling over each other to assert that “the rule of law must prevail”.

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