The 2021 Annual Lord Renton Lecture will be given by
Lady Arden of Heswall,
Justice of the Supreme Court.
25 November 2021, 6pm
Bentham House, UCL, London and online
“What makes good statute law: a judge’s view”
Booking will open shortly
Devolution and the Statute Book
The 2020 Annual Lord Renton Lecture was given on 15 December 2020 by The Rt Hon. James Wolffe QC, Lord Advocate of Scotland
To download the text of the lecture CLICK HERE
Thinking policy through before legislating – aspirational legislation
To read the text of the 2019 Lord Renton lecture, given by The Rt Hon. The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd PC, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales CLICK HERE
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Date: 15 June 2021, 5pm
“The Hong Kong National Security Law”
Speakers: Prof. Johannes Chan SC and Prof. Chin Leng Lim
Chair: Denis Edwards
This event will be held online
To register CLICK HERE
On 1st July 2020 the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (“NPCSC”) of the People’s Republic of China added a national security law (“NSL”) to Hong Kong’s Basic Law. This act was done pursuant to article 18 of the Basic Law, which confers power on the NPCSC to apply PRC laws to Hong Kong in the fields of defence, foreign affairs and other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of Hong Kong.
The application of the NSL to Hong Kong has been controversial both in Hong Kong and internationally. It raises important questions not only about Hong Kong’s ‘high degree of autonomy’ under the Basic Law but also about the rule of law in Hong Kong and the future of Hong Kong’s common law system.
Particular issues concern how Hong Kong’s common law courts are to interpret a PRC law within the Hong Kong legal system. Do common law principles of interpretation of legislation and, for example, the principle of legality apply to the construction of the NSL? What relevance does the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration have on the issues? How are Hong Kong’s judges to apply a PRC law which is drafted in the traditions of the PRC legal system and in line with legal concepts unfamiliar to the common law system? What impact might the NSL have on the continuing role of overseas, including UK judges, on Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal?
This seminar is hosted by the Statute Law Society and includes contributions from two of Hong Kong’s leading constitutional lawyers, Professor Johannes Chan SC and Professor Chin Leng Lim.
Professor Johannes Chan SC holds a Chair in Public Law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong and previously served as the Faculty’s Dean. He is also a leading barrister in Hong Kong and an Honorary Senior Counsel. Together with Professor Chin Leng Lim, he is the co-author of the leading work on Hong Kong’s Basic Law, Law of the Hong Kong Constitution.
Professor Chin Leng Lim is the Choh-Ming Li Professor of Law in the Faculty of Law of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also a barrister at Keating Chambers in London and a Visiting Professor at King’s College London.
There is no charge to attend this event, which is open to all.
RECENT EVENTS AND LECTURES
The 2019 Lord Renton lecture was given by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd PC, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
“Thinking policy through before legislating – aspirational legislation”
There have been several recent occasions when policy has not been thought through before legislation is enacted. There is pressure to enact legislation that requires governmental decision-making to take account of future aspirational goals and to adopt aspirational ways of working. But it is necessary to think through the implications of enacting such legislation. Are these appropriate subjects for legislation? If so, can the legislation be drafted to make clear what should be done to achieve the aspirations set out? If such legislation is intended to be enforceable, what is the appropriate mechanism? Do courts/tribunals have a role and, if so, what should be the composition of the court/tribunal? If such legislation is not intended to be enforceable, what are the implications for the rule of law of enacting such legislation? To read the text of this lecture CLICK HERE.10 July 2019
The Right Hon Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill CVO, Justice of the Supreme Court
“The Journey to Fiscal Enlightenment – some personal thoughts on the interpretation of taxing statutes”
————————————————————————————-10 May 2019
CONFERENCE: IMPLICATIONS OF BREXIT FOR THE STATUTE BOOK
Conference Chair: The Hon Mr Justice Garnham, Chairman of the Statute Law Society
Introduction: The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP
Ian Forrester QC, Judge at the General Court of the European Union
Brexit, the UK and EU Law in any Event
Professor Catherine Barnard, Professor of European Law, University of Cambridge
Constitutional Legislation and Fundamental Rights after Brexit
Professor Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Legislating for Brexit in Scotland at Westminster and Holyrood
Chaired by Denis Edwards
Panellists: Sir Stephen Laws KCB QC, Professor Aileen McHarg, Professor Catherine Barnard, Ian Forrester QC,
Brexit and Parliament: What have we learned?
————————————————————————————–19 November 2018
The 2018 Annual Lord Renton Lecture was given by Lady Hale of Richmond, President of the Supreme Court
Statute or case law: how should we develop the law?
Professor Alison L. Young
Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law, University of Cambridge
“Statutory Interpretation in a Post-Brexit UK”
Professor David Ormerod QC, Law Commissioner
The New Sentencing Code
Professor Thomas Poole, London School of Economics
‘The Case for the Federative: A Foreign Relations Power for the Age of Statutes’
To watch the video recording of this talk click here.
Elizabeth Gardiner, First Parliamentary Counsel
“Drafting Guidance: why bother?”
Joint event with the Study of Parliament Group held at the House of Lords
2017 Annual Lord Renton Lecture – Sir John Laws. PC. “Statutory Interpretation: the Myth of Parliamentary Intent”. IALS9 October 2017
Prof Adam Tomkins MSP: “Legislating Proportionately in the Mixed Constitution”. IALS8 May 2017
Prof Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (Queen Mary School of Law, University of London) on “Legislating for Brexit”, covering three situations: the Referendum Act, the ‘Great Repeal Bill’, and the possibility of any ‘Continuation Bills’ in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. IALS.20 March 2017
Prof. Richard Susskind OBE. “The Future of Legislation: the impact of technology”. IALS28 February 2017
Lord Lisvane KCB DL. “Why is there so much bad legislation?”. This was a joint event with Study of Parliament Group and took place at the House of Lords.15 February 2017
Reflections on biosecurity legislation in developing countries: increasing market access or maintaining unequal terms of trade?
Dr Robert Black, University of Greenwich.
“A Recent Development in Statutory and Constitutional Interpretation in Australia”
Dr Christopher Walshaw, Central Queensland University
Drafting of Criminal Justice Legislation
Professor John Spencer QC, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge
The 2015 Lord Renton Lecture was delivered by the Rt Hon. the Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe. The text of his paper can be found in the Library. ”As if …. The Wonderland of Statutory Hypotheses“.12 October 2015
What Yemshaw Could Have Said
Donald L. Drakeman, Distinguished Research Professor, Program on Constitutional Studies, University of Notre Dame
Lady Hale’s judgment in Yemshaw v London Borough of Hounslow  UKSC 3 set out to update the meaning of ‘domestic violence’, leading to the criticism from Professor Ekins and others that amending a statute by ‘judicial fiat’ thwarts the legislature’s intention. The Supreme Court could have invoked Hansard to reach the same result. Donald DrakemanI will argue that, despite the continuing controversy surroundingPepper v Hart, the use of legislative history may be preferable to judicially updating statutory meaning, especially when the text was adopted just a few years before.
Planning legislation: merely consolidated or completely overhauled?
Charles Mynors, Barrister.
“Legislation as Aspiration: Statutory Expression of Policy Goals”
Professor David Feldman, Rouse Ball Professor of English Law, University of Cambridge.
Professor Dawn Oliver, Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law, University College London
“Tort and the Legislature: Themes in an Evolving Relationship”
Professor Jenny Steele (York Law School) and Professor T T Arvind (Newcastle University).
The Annual Lord Renton Lecture was delivered by Sir Christopher Greenwood CMG QC, Judge of the International Court of Justice.
“Drafting and iInterpretation – Reflections of an International Lawyer”
A Colloquium on the Use of Hybrid Bills in Parliament for Major Infrastructure Projects.
Chair: Lord Justice Sales
Speakers: David Elvin QC, Liam Laurence Smyth, Simon Ricketts, Angus Walker
Held at the office of King 7 Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin, London
Dangerous Trends in Modern Legislation – Daniel Greenberg24 February 2014
Scrutiny of terrorism laws: searchlight or veil? David Anderson QC27 January 2014
Ex post facto law. Prof Neil Duxbury. [If you would like an offprint of the published article on which this lecture was based, please apply to the SLS Administrator.]28 November 2013
2013 Annual Lord Renton Lecture
“Respect for Law and Sausages”: how Parliament made Section 31 of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 on the sale of employment rights. Lord Pannick QC
2013 Statute Law Society Conference. Law and Alternative Solutions: Codification, Restatement, Common Law. Speakers: Prof Andrew Burrows QC, Prof Ian Dennis, Dr Deirdre Ahern, Prof Hugh Beale QC, Prof Robert Hazell. Conference papers, where available, can be found in the Library section.14 October 2013
Making the law easier for users: the role of statutes. Richard Heaton, First Parliamentary Counsel and Permanent Secreetary at the Cabinet Office.10 June 2013
Legislation, Users and the Web: Legislation.gov.uk and the future of the statute book. John Sheridan, Head of Legislation Services at The National Archives.13 May 2013
Lord Norton of Louth
“Improving the legislative process – the continuing challenge”
Graham Aaronson QC
“An Oxymoronic Endeavour? A General Anti-Abuse Rule for taxation to give effect to the will of Parliament by overriding Parliament’s statutes.”
Jonathan Swift QC
“Constitutional statutes: construction and legal adjudication”
Annual Lord Renton Lecturem given by Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston QC of the Court of Justice of the European Union
“Through a Glass Darkly: Transposing EU drafting into English statutes – Choices, Teleology and True Meaning.”
Sir Geoffrey Bowman KCB QC and James Kessler QC
“Public and private drafting – comparing and contrasting objectives, problems, styles and approaches.”
Professor Elizabeth Cooke, Law Commissioner
“Why is law reform so difficult?”
Mr Justice Robert Sharpe, Judge of the Court of Appeal, Ontario
“The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and Lord Sankey’s “living tree” theory of interpretation”
This event was held jointly with Clarity.
Philip Coppel QC
“The Data Protection Act 1998 and Personal Privacy”
Professor Richard Bellamy
“The Democratic Legitimacy of International Human Rights Conventions: Parliament, Political Constitutionalism and the Hirst Case”
“How to make EU legislation more accessible”
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury MR
2011 Annual Lord Renton Lecture:
“General, equal and certain: law reform today and tomorrow”
Richard Ekins, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland
“Yemshaw and the constitutionality of updating statutes”
Paul Regan, Head of Resources, Olympic and Paralympic Security Directorate, Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, Home Office
“Enacting legislation – a civil servant’s perspective”
ANNUAL LORD RENTON LECTURE
Mr Stephen Laws CB, First Parliamentary Counsel
“Giving effect to policy in legislation – how to avoid missing the point”
“Legislation and the Supreme Court”
Supreme Court, Parliament Square, London
Neville March Hunnings
“Legislative Form and the European Union”
The Hon. Mr Justice Sales
“Rights-consistent interpretation of statutes under section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998″
David Dodd BL
“Adhering to traditional methods for modern reasons: statutory interpretation in Ireland”
The Hon Justice Susan Crennan QC, High Court of Australia
“Statutes and the Contemporary Search for Meaning”
ANNUAL LORD RENTON LECTURE
Lord Justice Elias
“The Rise of the Strasbourgeoisie: Judicial Activism and the ECHR”
Professor Jeremy Waldron, New York University Law School and 2008-09 Fowler-Hamilton visiting fellow at Christ Church College, Oxford
“Interpretation, Textualism and the Citation of Foreign Law”
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty
“How a lobbying group can affect legislation”
Mr Justice Sales, formerly First Treasury Counsel, Common Law
“A comparison of the principle of legality and section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998″
INAUGURAL ANNUAL LORD RENTON LECTURE *
Lord Rodger of Earlsferry
“Interpreting Statutes Today”
**** To read a copy of the inaugural Statute Law Society lecture given by Lord Renton in 1995 and entitled
“The Evolution of Modern Statute Law and its Future” - click here
Rabinder Singh QC
“Interpreting Bills of Rights”
Statute Law Society Conference, Belfast
“Presuming to Interpret – Basic Principles of Law in Statutory Interpretation”
Speakers: Sir Brian Kerr, Prof. Stefan Vogenauer, The Hon. Mr Justice Hugh Geoghegan, The Rt Hon Lady Justice Arden DBE, Richard Ekin and Jan van Zyl Smith (DPhil Candidates), George Gray (First Legislative Counsel, N.I.), Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Mr Justice Sales, Professor Brice Dickson.
Murray Hunt, Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
“Scrutinising legislation for human rights compatibility”
Professor John Spencer QC
“Drafting of the Extradition Act”
Lord Carlile of Berriew QC
“Terrorism: Statutes v Politics”
Professor Ross Charnock, University of Paris
“Prototypes and stereotypes: meaning and reference in the language of the law”
Philip Bovey, Former Director, Company Law Project, DTI
“A damn close run thing: the Companies Act 2006″
Dr Roderick Munday, University of Cambridge
“Explanation and Interpretation of Statutes: the Role of the Explanatory Notes”
Peter Graham Harris
“The Making of the Children Act: a Private History”
Lord Hope of Craighead
“Voices from the Past – the Law Lords’ contribution to the legislative process”
Justice Keith Mason, President of New South Wales Court of Appeal, Australia
“The intent of legislators: how judges discern it and what they do if they find it”
Sir Edward Caldwell KCB QC
“Who did the Act? And how?
(A discussion of some aspects of the preparation of legislation, particularly in relation to constitutional legislation which cuts across existing structures and engages a number of government departments, with an occasional look back at the European Communities Act 1972 and other Acts)
Professor Reinhard Zimmermann, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
“Law Reform in Germany: Experience with the Recent Modernisation of the Law of Obligations”
John McCluskie, CB, QC
“Recollections and Reflections of the former First Scottish Parliamentary Counsel”
Professor Judith Freedman, University of Oxford
“Interpreting Tax Statutes: is successful tax avoidance a contradiction in terms?”
A panel-led discussion organised jointly by the Law Commission and the Statute Law Society
Panel: Sir Edward Caldwell, Mr Justice Toulson, Lord Newton of Braintree, Paul Jenkins and Francesca Quint
Javan Herberg and Phillip Coppel
“The Big Chill: Swimming on Hampstead Heath and the Spectre of Public Safety”
Professor Vernon Bogdanor, University of Oxford and Professor Jeffrey Jowell QC, University of London
“The Constitution, the Parliament Acts and Jackson v Attorney-General”