Lord Denning: The Discipline of Law


Lord Denning: The Discipline of Law

Author Lord Denning
Publication Date South Asia Ed Reprint 2014
ISBN 9780199686414
Format Softcover
Publisher Oxford University Press


The central thesis of this book is that while the legal standards established by judges in the 19th century were appropriate for the social climate of the day, they are not appropriate for the needs and attitudes of the 20th century. They must to be moulded and modified to suit the demands and viewpoints of the present.

A remarkable account of Lord Denning's individual contribution to the evolution of English law in the twenty-first century may be found in The Discipline of Law. It is organised into seven primary sections, each of which focuses on a certain area of the law where that transformation has been most noticeable.

Table of Contents of Lord Denning: The Discipline of Law

Part One – The Construction of Documents
1.    Command of language
2.    The interpretation of statutes
3.    The interpretation of wills and other unilateral documents
4.    The construction of contracts
5.    Looking for help

Part Two – Misuse of Ministerial Powers
1.    Deciding wrongly
2.    Clauses ousting the courts
3.    Declarations
4.    Other points on tribunals
5.    Administrative decisions
6.    Clauses giving unfettered discretion
7.    Prerogative power
8.    The Ultra Vires clause

Part Three – Locus Standi
1.    Modern extensions
2.    The Blackburn cases
3.    Declaration and injunction
4.    The remedy of judicial review
5.    Private rights
6.    The Gouriet case

Part Four – Abuse of ‘Group’ Powers
1.    Powers against own members
2.    Powers against other persons

Part Five – High Trees
1.    The High Trees case

Part Six – Negligence
1.    Leading up to Candler v Crane, Christmas
2.    Doctors at law
3.    The impact of Hedley Byrne
4.    Houses falling down
5.    Innocent representation made actionable
6.    Surprising Consequences

Part Seven – The Doctrine of Precedent
1.    The doctrine of precedent

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