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This book prints for the first time a collection of lectures and papers written and delivered by Lord Woolf since 1986, following his retirement in 2005 from the office of Lord Chief Justice and a judicial career that has covered part or all of the last four decades.
The title The Pursuit of Justice reflects Lord Woolf's determination to see that justice is done in the English courts. A key theme in the papers is that to do justice according to law the judiciary must deliver pragmatic decisions on the facts of each case by considering the justice of the case in question and the text of the law. This is in contrast to the traditional approach where judges looked to the letter of the statute and assumed a narrow application of the law would lead to justice or considered it was not their place to interfere.
The papers cover developments that have occurred in a variety of legal areas, and which continue to be relevant in a changing world, including the rule of law and the constitution, the role of judges, access to justice, human rights, medicine, the environment, crime and penal reform, and legal education.
Each paper discusses the challenges that have arisen in English common law in recent times and the way they have been solved or attempted to be solved to ensure that justice is done: so that arrests and searches are made properly; that there are fair hearings; readily available lawful remedies; and the removal of unnecessary costs and delays.
The Introduction provides a fresh insight into many of the changes that have occurred in the English legal system, changes that form the basis of the discussions in the papers, and provides an overall assessment of law reform in modern society.
A conscious effort has been made to make this book as accessible as possible, not only to lawyers, but also to anyone concerned with the reform of the law. As such it will be of interest to legal specialists and the wider public. Law affects us all at some point in our lives, and it is on the protection of law and order that civilised society depends.