1. An interesting talk which is more than adequately seasoned by many fine quotations. One is left with a feeling of nostalgia for the seemingly “simple” times of Denning and a feeling of concern about the “rather different world order” we are now in. At its heart, the speech contains a reasonably good history lesson in showing how many of the Articles in the European Convention on Human Rights emerged from common law principles. But, we knew that anyway!

    Just a few thoughts:

    Lord Neuberger (perhaps choosing his words very carefully) referred to the “regrettable Quantanamo Bay”. Well, that’s one way of describing that abomination.

    He refers to how judges are developing a law of privacy but, perhaps, understandably, offers no criticism of how they are doing it. Many people out here are extremely concerned about those developments. Is it right that such an important matter is left almost entirely to judges?

    On human rights “we do not have an unblemished record.” Well, he can certainly say that again! The disregard is continuing.

    The UK was transformed from “a government of [executive] will to a government of law.” OK – but are they so different when the laws passed by a supine Parliament give Ministers the right to use “executive will”?

    Also, Lord Neuberger asks whether matters such as healthcare, education, housing etc. should become “human rights.” There is a debate to be had about those matters but it ought to be noted that our government opted out of the “EU Charter of Fundamental Rights” which addresses a range of additional rights which other EU members seem happy to adopt.

    Not a bad speech but we need to start properly addressing the issues we now face and which are brought about by an overbearing executive.

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