Judicial Free Speech versus Judicial Neutrality in Mid-Twentieth England: The Last Hurrah for the Ancien Regime?

Rubin, G.R. (2009) Judicial Free Speech versus Judicial Neutrality in Mid-Twentieth England: The Last Hurrah for the Ancien Regime? Law and History Review, 27 (2). pp. 373-412. ISSN 0738-2480. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

In mid-1950s Britain two significant events occurred in respect of the doctrine of judicial neutrality in that country. In the first, the Lord Chancellor of the day, Lord Simonds, had refused permission for the experienced and well-known senior judge advocate, Lord Russell of Liverpool, to publish his sensational history of Nazi war crimes, The Scourge of the Swastika, so long as he (Russell) continued to hold judicial office. For Simonds was insistent that the judiciary must keep their counsel on virtually any matter outside the courtroom, a view shared both by his immediate Labour government predecessor, Lord Jowitt, and by his Conservative government successor, Lord Kilmuir. After a public standoff when neither side would give way, the deadlock was broken when Russell, rather than risk being sacked for disobedience, chose to resign his judicial office to a fanfare of publicity in the press and duly published his book shortly thereafter. Moreover, what lent the Russell confrontation an added edge was not just Simonds's complaint that the book could be perceived as anti-German and, therefore, as political. It was that publication at that time could have a damaging effect upon Britain's policy of rehabilitating West Germany within the Western alliance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences
K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Eve Dyer
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2011 08:44
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2012 10:13
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/11743 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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