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Is the law damaging our politics?

Is the law damaging our politics?

Nick Spencer speaks to former BBC Reith lecturer and the Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Sumption. 01/12/2020

We live in an age of ever expanding law and of rampant political cynicism. Perhaps the two are connected?

Nick Spencer talks to former BBC Reith lecturer and the Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Sumption about his book ‘Trials of the State: Law and the Decline of Politics’ which argues that our growing inclination to turn to the law to resolve our problems may, in fact, be making our public life worse.

Unfortunately we were hampered by the tech in this episode, and despite the sterling work of our expert producer Phil in post–production, Jonathan’s voice remains accompanied by tiny electronic crickets. If you are finding it difficult to listen, you can read the transcript of the conversation here instead.

Learn more about the people and ideas behind the episode

Trials of the State: Law and the Decline of Politics (bookshop.org)

BBC Radio 4 – The Reith Lectures, 2019: Jonathan Sumption, 1/5. Law’s Expanding Empire


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Nick Spencer

Nick Spencer

Nick is Senior Fellow at Theos. He is the author of a number of books and reports, most recently The Political Samaritan: how power hijacked a parable (Bloomsbury, 2017), The Evolution of the West (SPCK, 2016) and Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Posted 1 December 2020

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