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Monday, 10 May 2021, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

The Politics of Judicial Appointment

Professor Thomas Grant QC

Has the time come for some form of political appointment of Supreme Court judges? Should there be parliamentary scrutiny of judicial appointments? 

This lecture contrasts the position of British and American Supreme Court judges. It looks at the dangers of governmental interference in the judiciary, looking at historic examples in the Soviet Union and South Africa, and recent cases in Poland and Hungary. 

Might the politicisation of the judiciary challenge the international reputation of the English courts?


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Thomas is Visiting Gresham Professor of Politics and Law. He is a Queen's Counsel and member of Maitland Chambers. 

He practises in the commercial chancery, fraud, professional negligence, company, property, and art and entertainment fields, as well as being instructed in a wide range of general chancery and commercial litigation. Thomas has a particular  interest in fraud claims and is well known for his expertise in obtaining and defending  freezing and related interim orders. He has acted in numerous high profile cases, including the claim brought by the estate of Francis Bacon against the Marlborough Gallery, the litigation arising out of construction of the Wembley stadium arch, JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov (the largest fraud claim in English legal history), and the proceedings following the death of Boris Berezovsky. 

Thomas is the author of Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories (2015, John Murray), a Sunday Times bestseller, and Court Number One: The Old Bailey Trials that Defined Modern Britain 2019, John Murray), which was a Times and Telegraph book of the year and is a Waterstones paperback of the year for 2020. He is a regular contributor to the Times and has written for a wide variety of publications. He has also edited or contributed to a number of legal textbooks, including Lender Claims (2010) and Civil Fraud (2018). He is a frequent speaker on legal and historical issues. 

Thomas was appointed Visiting Gresham Professor of Politics and Law in 2020/21. 

Thomas's lecture series is as follows:

2020/21 The Politics of the Courtroom

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