19 October 2020
As a solicitor in practice I tend to specialise in commercial, media and communications law, and as a commentator I tend to explain public and international law.
(And as a historian of sorts, I am interested in law and anthropology and how complex societies can develop oral and written systems of law.)
But in addition to these areas, there are two special legal topics which fascinate and appal me.
Fascination: because I find it hard (as a western liberal writing in 2020) to believe that my own species has used and still uses the concept of law for such purposes, and so I want to understand why.
Why would and do people do these things?
Appalling: because both deal with the worst of human nature.
The first is the law of slavery: the extraordinary notion that there can be property rights for one human being in another human being.
The second is the law of torture: the regulation of the deliberate and involuntary infliction of cruelty by some human beings on other human beings.
This second horrible subject has come up because of the United Kingdom government now seeking to make it harder to prosecute former and serving service personnel for war crimes and torture.
On this, I have done this video for the Financial Times.
And I have now done this podcast.
Not a pleasant thing to talk about, or to listen to others talking about, but important still the same.
Please watch and listen if you can.
Thank you for taking an interest.
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