Gary Change

LORD SUMPTION: ‘Government by decree – Covid-19 and the Constitution’:

‘Government by decree – Covid-19 and the Constitution’: Lord Sumption

On 27 October 2020 Lord Sumption delivered the 2020 Cambridge Freshfields Lecture entitled “Government by decree – Covid-19 and the Constitution”.

The disputes over Brexit last year saw an attempt to make the executive, not Parliament, the prime source of authority in the Constitution. The coronavirus crisis has provoked another attempt to marginalise Parliament, this time with the willing acquiescence of the House of Commons. Is this to be our future?

Lord Sumption is an author, historian and lawyer of note. He was appointed directly from the practising Bar to the Supreme Court, and served as a Supreme Court Justice from 2012-18. In 2019, he delivered the BBC Reith Lectures, “Law and the Decline of Politics”, and is now a regular commentator in the media. He continues to sit as a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. Alongside his career as a lawyer, he has also produced a substantial and highly-regarded narrative history of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France (with volume V still to come).