skip to content
Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Professor John SpencerThe Squire and the Faculty of Law are pleased to announce that an entry for John Rason Spencer, Emeritus Professor of Law, has been added to the Eminent Scholars Archive.

Professor Spencer was interviewed via the internet at his home in Trunch, Norfolk on 20th November 2020, 15th January, and 26th February 2021. In addition to transcripts of the audio records, readers will find a photographic gallery of his life.

Professor Spencer was born in Chelmsford in 1946, but grew up in rural northeast Dorset, where his family moved in 1950. He attended Blandford Grammar School before reading law at Selwyn College Cambridge, where he obtained his LLB (1965-69).

John Spencer then spent one year (1969-70) as a Temporary Lecturer in the Faculty of Commerce & Business Administration at the University of British Columbia,Vancouver, before returning to Selwyn in 1970 to a Junior Fellowship. He remained at Selwyn for the rest of his academic career, steadily rising through lectureships, a readership and was promoted to Professor of Law (1995). Professor Spencer retired to Norfolk in 2013.

Throughout his long career, John Spencer established a formidable reputation as an erudite, and radical criminal lawyer, initially specialising in evidence of children, and later as an international authority on comparative EU, European and English criminal law. He was awarded a CBE in 2017 for his services to reforming criminal law with regard to children’s evidence.

In the interviews, Professor Spencer talks of his involvement with various efforts to reform English criminal law as part of inter alia, the Calcutt Committee on Privacy and the Press (1989-90), and as a Consultant to Sir Robin Auld’s Review of the Criminal Courts (2001). He also mentions his involvement with the EU study group on fraud on EU finances which produced the Corpus Juris proposal for a European Public Prosecutor (1995-96).

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