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Bookshop Barnie with Lord Bingham

Is the Law really a ‘unifying factor’ as Bingham asserts, or is it a contractual relation that creates an ‘us and them’?

Tom Bingham, Britain’s former senior law lord, and one of the world’s most acute legal minds, explores the meaning of the phrase, The Rule of Law in his new book. For Lord Bingham, the rule of law is a means of maintaining order - among the people, the government and business… and as he was the first judge to hold the posts of Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and Senior Law Lord of the United Kingdom, he knows a thing or two about it.

Lord Bingham argues that judges, in order to maximise the fairness of their decision-making, should seek to ‘neutralise any extraneous considerations which might bias their judgement’. Given that they’re predominently Establishment figures, is this demand for judges’ impartiality simply wishful thinking? Is the Law really a ‘unifying factor’ as Bingham asserts, or is it a contractual relation that creates an ‘us and them’?

At this Bookshop Barnie, held in conjunction with Foyles Bookshop, we will examine whether the Rule of Law is sufficient to develop and progress liberal democracy; or is primarily a means of protecting and preserving it. You do not need to have read the book beforehand - as a matter of fact you are discouraged from doing so - so that you can come and be convinced (or otherwise) by the good Lord’s arguments. Lord Bingham will be signing and selling copies of his book afterwards.


Lord Tom Bingham | talks
Mr Austin Williams | talks


Date and Time:

20 October 2010 at 7:00 pm


2 hours



Foyles Bookstore
113-119 Charing Cross Road

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Organised by:

Institute of Ideas
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Available from:

Contact futurecitiesproject@gmail.com to attend.

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