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Law, Liberty and the Constitution: A Brief History of the Common Law Hardcover – 22 Jan 2018
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An enjoyable read. PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY
Potter lacerates the jargon and marches through a long timeline to produce a slim, superbly written account of the common law. LAW SOCIETY GAZETTE
Full of triumphs, tragedies, comedies, accidents and unintended consequences [with] an immense cast of characters. ... [A] lively and opinionated book. TIMES
About the Author
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.
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The emphasis is very much on its development in England, but its importance to other common law jurisdictions, and the United States in particular, is obvious.
In this the eight hundredth anniversary year of Magna Carta (about which it has a brilliant resume), this publication is most apposite and a compelling read. A indispensable vademecum, with an engaging turn of phrase
This book nicely addresses many of these questions. Episodes such as the development of Star Chamber, the Bill of Rights, the run up to Entick v Carrington, who John Seldon was and why Table Talk wasn't just a lawyer's coffee table magazine are just some of the personal delights I came across, as well as surprises about Magna Carta and why Thomas Beckett was such a troublesome priest - I never read that in my history books at school! And, being much more than a gallop through history, there are plenty of references to deeper works.
I was drawn to the book by the TV series The Strange Case of the Law by the same author, and the easy but precise narrative voice of the author comes through in his writing. The book is advantageously divided into several parts each containing several chapters. The chapters are relatively short, but reward careful reading. There is a lot to learn.