Law and disorder

Lorraine Daston is one of those historians of science who make scientists uneasy. She made a brilliant debut in 1988 with Classical Probability in the Enlightenment, which presented the history of probability not as a purposeful journey towards theoretical perfection, but as an assortment of social negotiations in which pure reason took second place to … Read more

Law unto ourselves

It is not usually thought to be the job of judges to “make” modern Britain. Judicial decisions are reactive. They respond to the historic facts of the case in hand and to established legal instincts and principles. They reflect social and moral values ​​that already exist and social changes that have already happened. The transformative … Read more

A law for himself

Rarely does books wreak havoc among the closed circles of the Parisian elite. Rarely do they overthrow political and intellectual power and prompt judicial reform. Camille Kouchner’s The Familia Grandewhich chronicles the sexual abuse inflicted by her stepfather, Olivier Duhamel, a high-ranking lawyer and academic, on her twin brother when they were teenagers, achieved all … Read more

Law, society and morality

Jonathan Sumption makes a persuasive case for understanding the development of law in evolutionary terms in his review of my The Rule of Laws (March 25). Laws as we now know them, he argues, arose in Europe to satisfy the need for security, which a law-based state can provide, along with a stable system of … Read more