The Ten Legal Cases That Made Modern Britain

Inigo Bing


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Biteback Publishing
12 April 2022
ISBN: 9781785906626
352 pages

From the publisher

LIFE. SEX. RACE. POWER. FREE SPEECH. PROTEST. PRIVACY. DEMOCRACY. SOVEREIGNTY. DEATH. Society shapes law... and law shapes society. We like to imagine that progress comes about when Parliament spots a looming groundswell in public opinion and responds by changing the laws that govern our daily lives. This is not always true. In this fascinating book, Inigo Bing unravels ten legal cases in which the decisions of judges or a jury either heralded a shift in outlook or forced Parliament to respond to simmering social change. Some of these cases demonstrate the role judges have in defending our civil liberties against overweening executive power, articulating inherent unwritten rights Parliament would prefer to keep quiet about. Others explore what happens when rapid technological or social change outpaces government, placing urgent ethical dilemmas in the lap of the court. All of them have had a lasting impact on the society we inhabit. Taken together, these stories provide a powerful insight into eighty years of British social, political and cultural history, illustrating why legal cases are just as important to making our world as laws written by Parliament or grassroots changes within society.