The Reith Lectures

BBC Radio 4

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Significant international thinkers deliver the BBC's flagship annual lecture series
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42:23 | Jun 18th

Jonathan Sumption argues against Britain adopting a written constitution as a response to political alienation. The former UK Supreme Court Justice has argued that politics is in decline partly, at least, because the courts and the law is increasing...Show More

42:22 | Jun 11th

Jonathan Sumption assesses the US and UK’s constitutional models. He describes Britain's unwritten constitution as a political institution. The US Constitution is by contrast essentially a legal document. This has led Americans to address what shoul...Show More
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42:32 | Jun 4th

Jonathan Sumption argues that judges - especially those of the European Court of Human Rights - have usurped power by expanding the interpretation of human rights law. Lord Sumption argues that concepts of human rights have a long history in the comm...Show More

42:32 | May 28th

Jonathan Sumption explains how democratic processes have the power to accommodate opposition opinions and interests. But he argues that in recent years that politics has shied away from legislating and now the courts have taken on more and more of th...Show More

57:40 | May 21st

Jonathan Sumption argues that the law is taking over the space once occupied by politics. Lord Sumption was until recently a justice of the UK’s Supreme Court, as well as being a distinguished historian. In this lecture, recorded before an audience a...Show More
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