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The law in a modern society is an extremely bulky and complex instrument, with a distracting tendency to become less fixed, less rule-oriented, and more discretionary.
An institution made by men for the government of men, the law today can all too readily confuse and dismay us. How and why is so much new law made? By what right does a judge order that a man be sent to gaol? Why is so much law so bad, and why should we, the people, accept the laws made by those who claim the right to govern us?
In this lucid, stimulating and completely updated survey, which presupposes no specialist knowledge of the subject, P S Atiyah introduces the reader to a number of fundamental issues about the law, the legal profession, and the adjudicative process. This new edition gives greater emphasis to the effect of membership of the European Community on English law, and gives an expanded account of the European convention on Human Rights with its subsequent effects on English law.
Atiyah also looks at the recent controversy over the independence of the judiciary, problems arising from the cost of legal services and legal aid, and the many appalling miscarriages of justice which have disfigured the legal system in the past decade.