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Monday, 11 January 2021, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Online Lecture

The Political Jury

Professor Thomas Grant QC

Is the jury system the bulwark of individual liberty? 

This lecture will look at the role of the so-called “perverse jury” in acquitting defendants where the law, or the charge itself, is deemed unjust. Famous examples are Kempton Bunton (for the “theft” of Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington in the 1960s), Clive Ponting, and Randle and Pottle. 

But the jury can also be a bastion of prejudice: white juries habitually acquitted white defendants in the US in race violence cases. Does the jury system need improvement? Should its right to deliver a perverse verdict be curtailed?

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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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