The Reith Lectures always deliver interesting food for thought and a great opportunity for learning. In his first lecture, Jonathan Sumption argues that the law is taking over the space once occupied by politics. It takes a bit of listening to and by 19 minutes in I was starting to get to grips with things, so hang on in there! The examples Sumption uses such as the Charlie Gard case, make the lecture more accessible.
For any students with an interest in careers in law, politics, human rights or making applications to law, politics, PPE this series of lectures is well worth listening to.
A full transcript is available on the BBC website.
Topics addressed by Lord Sumption in the lectures include how the law’s empire has expanded in response to increasing public demand for greater security and reduced personal risk; the importance of the political process and the benefits of representative democracy as well as the decline in the public’s involvement in politics. He will discuss human rights and the law, including the European Convention on Human Rights, and ask whether decisions in this area should be made by judges or Parliament. The penultimate lecture will examine the US Constitution and assess the advantages and disadvantages of a written constitution. The fifth and final lecture will ask whether Britain should move away from an unwritten constitution and how public faith in the political process can be restored.
- Law’s Expanding Empire
Tuesday 21 May, 9-9.45am
- In Praise of Politics
Tuesday 28 May, 9-9.45am
- Human rights and wrongs
Tuesday 4 June, 9-9.45am
- Rights and the Ideal Constitution
Tuesday 11 June, 9-9.45am
- Shifting the Foundations
Tuesday 18 June, 9-9.45am