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Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Squire Law Library and the Faculty of Law are pleased to announce a further entry to the Eminent Scholars Archive: Sir John Laws.

Sir John Grant Laws was the Arthur Goodhart Visiting Professor of Legal Science for the academic year 2016-17. He was interviewed on 15 June 2017 at the Goodhart Lodge on Trumpington Road.

Sir John came to Cambridge having recently retired as Lord Justice of Appeal, where he served from 1999-2016. Before that he was a Judge of the High Court, QBD, between 1992-98.

During the interview, Sir John talks of his school at Durham, and his undergraduate years, when he read the "Greats" at Exeter College Oxford: ancient classics plus philosophy. Post-Oxford, he went into legal practice in 1971, and later became Treasury Devil in 1984, a position he held until 1992.

The interview also touches on Sir John’s legal interests, especially judicial review, and the constitutional balance between the courts and the elected government, subjects on which he has written widely. It was of topical interest to hear Sir John’s views on the constitutional significance of the recent Brexit referendum: the vying for position between direct democracy and indirect democracy, as he put it.

This is the twelfth in a growing collection of interviews with the Goodhart professors, previous interviewees being Professor Martti Koskenniemi, Sir Robin Auld, Justice Paul Finn, Professor Leslie ZinesProfessor Jane Stapleton, Professor Peter Cane, Professor Spyridon Flogaitis, Professor Gerald Postema, Professor David Dyzenhaus, Professor Tony Smith, and Professor Cheryl Saunders.

The Eminent Scholars Archive is available to listen, or subscribe to, via the University Streaming Media Service and iTunes U.