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The Judicial House of Lords 1876–2009$
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Louis Blom-Cooper QC, Brice Dickson, and Gavin Drewry

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532711

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532711.001.0001

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1966 and All That: The Story of the Practice Statement 1

1966 and All That: The Story of the Practice Statement 1

(p.128) 9 1966 and All That: The Story of the Practice Statement1
The Judicial House of Lords 1876–2009

Louis Blom-Cooper

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the Practice Statement by the Lord Chancellor (Lord Gardiner) and the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary on July 26, 1996, before judgments were given in the House of Lords, which dropped a pebble into the judicial pool that produced not merely a few ripples but also a seismic wave in English juridical thinking. It is argued that the experience of the Practice Statement in 1966 dispelled whatever was left of the myth that judges do not make law. At the same time it has had a profound effect on the psyche of appellate judges, such that the Court of Appeal might now be enticed to follow suit, at least in the Civil Division, where it has become effectively the final court of appeal in private law litigation. The sharpening of awareness of the creativity of the appellate task, and consequentially a more overt concern with the search for a more just rule, as well as the discarding of some forensic deadwood, cannot sensibly be confined to the judges in the final court of appeal. The phenomenon should extend to the intermediate appellate court.

Keywords:   House of Lords, Practice Statement, Lord Gardiner, Lords of Appeal in Ordinary

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