A Note From the SLS 2016 Conference at Oxford.
Every student of law will know about the ‘sources of law’: statues, judicial reasoning, European legislation and cases. They will be familiar with the cannons of statutory interpretation, the so called Literal, Golden and Mischief rules, purposive and contextual interpretation.
All students will have studied how under our constitutional settlement, the judges interpret and apply statutes such as to articulate the will of the democratically legitimated Parliament, (the supreme law making body), how the judges attempt to discern the will of Parliament reconciling that with their judicial obligation to serve justice and the principles of legality.
It is apparent that modern law-making in common law jurisdictions comes from a constant recurring argument and debate between Parliament, the judges and legal academics. In this spirit of a debate the conference offered a distinguished panel vividly embodying the dynamic of the ‘law making’ conversation. On the panel chaired by Lady Justice Arden the speakers were Lord Justice Sales, Professor John Bell from Cambridge and Daniel Greenberg a former Parliamentary Counsel.