The Era of Napier and Coldstream: Numbers, Appointment, and Control of the Judges

Robert Stevens

in The Independence of the Judiciary

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780198262633
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682377 | DOI:
The Era of Napier and Coldstream: Numbers, Appointment, and Control of the Judges

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The period under discussion includes the Coalition government during the Second World War, when Viscount Simon was Lord Chancellor; the Labour administration from 1945 to 1951, when Earl Jowitt was Lord Chancellor; and then the Conservative administration from 1951 onwards. During the early years of the last-named administration, Viscount Simonds was Lord Chancellor, to be replaced in 1954 by David Maxwell Fyfe, Earl of Kilmuir. Kilmuir survived until the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ in 1962. It was a period when the country appeared, from the outside, to be redefining its goals and its purposes. Internally, especially during the Labour administrations — but under Conservative administrations as well — the political establishment was faced with the need for a serious rethinking of what the judiciary was about.

Keywords: Coalition government; Second World War; Lord Chancellor; Labour administrations; judiciary; Earl of Kilmuir

Chapter.  10859 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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