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The Oxford History of the Laws of EnglandVolume XIII: 1820–1914 Fields of Development$
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William Cornish, J Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, and Keith Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239757.001.0001

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Introduction: ‘Legislation the Only Remedy’ 1

Introduction: ‘Legislation the Only Remedy’ 1

(p.467) I Introduction: ‘Legislation the Only Remedy’1
The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Raymond Cocks

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that Victorian judges accepted that certain areas of law reform should be left to Parliament. This was particularly so in the case of innovations intended to produce radical social change. New structures and objectives for the Poor Law, or new systems of inspectors for factories, were the sort of changes that required legislation, and this division of law-making roles was understood by the judiciary, politicians, and others. When the laws had been passed by Parliament the judges might interpret them in ways which revealed approval or hostility, but they did not challenge the idea that it was for the legislature to innovate and produce the new laws.

Keywords:   English law, lawmaking, statutes, legislation, social change

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