School of Law | News | The ‘judicial conversation’ at Birkbeck on Friday 22 January 2016
Document Actions

The ‘judicial conversation’ at Birkbeck on Friday 22 January 2016

The novelist and literary critic Adam Mars-Jones came to Birkbeck to talk with Visiting Professor Dr. Ruth Herz, former judge at the court of Cologne, about his recent acclaimed book Kid Gloves.

The novelist and literary critic Adam Mars-Jones came to Birkbeck to talk with Visiting Professor Dr. Ruth Herz, former judge at the court of Cologne, about his recent acclaimed book Kid Gloves.

In this book, which Mars-Jones calls a voyage around his father, he considers the formidable figure of Sir William the High Court judge in his professional role, as well as the man, the husband, the father, the head of a family weaving in his own personal memories of family life at the flat in Gray’s Inn, one of the Inns of Court.

There is undoubtedly a growing interest in legal biographies. They are potentially not only a rich and important source of information about the legal system, the evolution of case law and statute but also might shine a light on the wider landscape of legal cultures. During the conversation Dr. Herz was able to explore how the personal background of the judge Mars-Jones, the son of a Welsh farmer with no private schooling emerges effortlessly blending into the ranks of the male legal establishment appropriating their attitudes and class behavior of his ‘brother judges’.

Did the judge ignore his personal background entirely in his judgecraft? The conversation also focused on how the professional spilled over into the judge’s private life. It appears that the personal complexities, ambivalences, contradictions and inconsistencies in Sir William’s personality towards life and law enter both the private as well as the professional revealing the unknown dimension of judicial practice.

The event was well attended by students as well as the general public, eager to learn more about judges. The ‘conversation’ turned into a very lively event. Mars-Jones is an excellent orator and performer.

More information:

Published:

Events