Law and Lawyers - not all bad? A Life in the Law - not all good? - Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC | Summary and Q&A

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May 20, 2016
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Gresham College
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Law and Lawyers - not all bad? A Life in the Law - not all good? - Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC

TL;DR

A barrister reflects on the legal system, advocacy, and the importance of diverse perspectives in the judiciary.

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Key Insights

  • ✊ Advocacy is an exercise of power and leadership, with advocates having the ability to shape opinions and influence decisions.
  • 🤗 The legal system should be open to the inclusion of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those without a legal background, in order to allow for different perspectives and enhanced decision-making.
  • 🥺 Vigilance is necessary to ensure the fair and effective functioning of the legal system, as complacency can lead to injustices and a breakdown of the rule of law.
  • ❓ Victims of crimes should be given greater consideration and their interests should be prioritized in the legal process.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the significance of Thomas Gresham in the speaker's career?

Thomas Gresham, a wealthy man in England, provided support and resources that made the speaker's lectures possible. Without his assistance, the speaker would not have been able to address the jury multiple times.

Q: Why does the speaker emphasize the importance of sharing legal ideas with other countries?

The speaker believes that sharing legal ideas is beneficial and important for the development of English law. He argues that English law has progressed through the influence of other legal systems, and isolating oneself from this exchange of ideas would be detrimental.

Q: What does the speaker suggest about the role of radical lawyers in society?

The speaker acknowledges the value of radical lawyers who challenge the system and advocate for those who may not have a voice. He believes that their presence has contributed to a more diverse and fitting legal society.

Q: What does the speaker suggest about the potential shortcomings of the legal system?

The speaker raises concerns about the potential for complacency in the legal system. He questions whether the legal system needs to be more carefully calibrated and stress-tested, given the comparatively long period of peace and lack of major challenges it has faced.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker reflects on his experience addressing a jury and the rules of advocacy, expressing gratitude to those who have supported him throughout his career.

  • He discusses the role of Thomas Gresham in the development of the legal system and expresses his thoughts on the benefits of sharing legal ideas with other countries.

  • The speaker acknowledges the importance of different types of lawyers, such as those in criminal law and senior judges, in maintaining and advancing the law.

  • He raises concerns about complacency in the legal system and the need for vigilance in order to protect the rule of law.

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