3 Annotations

First Reading

steve h  •  Link

Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (ca. 1758) was for two centuries the basis for teaching the principles of English (and American) law. Although written almost a century after Pepys began his diary, it is profocundly historical in nature, tracing legal practices back to Anglo-Saxon times. It is especially strong on the rights of indivisuals and the rights of property.


Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Civil law, civilian law or Roman law is a legal system originating in Europe, intellectualized within the framework of late Roman law, and whose most prevalent feature is that its core principles are codified into a referable system which serves as the primary source of law. This can be contrasted with common law systems whose intellectual framework comes from judge-made decisional law which gives precedential authority to prior court decisions on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different occasions (doctrine of judicial precedent, or stare decisis). Historically, a civil law is the group of legal ideas and systems ultimately derived from the Code of Justinian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civ…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Throughout English history the rule of law and the preservation of liberty have been inseparable, and both are intrinsic to England's constitution.

A new book, "Law, Liberty and the Constitution", gives accessible and entertaining history tracing the growth of the law from its beginnings in Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. It shows how the law evolved from a means of ensuring order and limiting feuds to become a supremely sophisticated dispenser of justice and the primary guardian of civil liberties. This development owed much to the English kings and their judiciary, who, in the 12th century, forged a unified system of law -- predating that of any other European country -- from almost wholly Anglo-Saxon elements.

By the17th century this royal offspring -- Oedipus Lex it could be called -- was capable of regicide.
Since then the law has had a somewhat fractious relationship with that institution upon which the regal mantle of supreme power descended, Parliament.
"Law, Liberty and the Constitution" tells the story of the common law not merely by describing major developments but by concentrating on prominent personalities and decisive cases relating to the constitution, criminal jurisprudence, and civil liberties.

It investigates the great constitutional conflicts, the rise of advocacy, and curious and important cases relating to slavery, insanity, obscenity, cannibalism, the death penalty, and miscarriages of justice.

"Law, Liberty and the Constitution" concludes by examining the extension of the law into the prosecution of war criminals and protection of universal human rights and the threats posed by over-reaction to national emergencies and terrorism. Devoid of jargon and replete with good stories, it represents a new approach to the telling of legal history and will be of interest to anyone wishing to know more about the common law -- the spinal cord of the English body politic.

Harry Potter is a former fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge and a practising barrister specialising in criminal defence. He has authored books on the death penalty and Scottish history and wrote and presented an award-winning series on the history of the common law for the BBC.

Manufacturer/Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Binding: Paperback
Author: Harry Potter
SKU: 9781783275038

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Jun