Text of British Academy Law Lecture, by Professor Jeremy Waldron FBA, read 1 February 2011.
The whole article can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Published in British Academy Review, Issue 18 (Summer 2011).
British Academy Law Lecture, delivered by Professor Jeremy Waldron FBA, on 1 February 2011 (venue: The British Academy). The rule of law is sometimes associated with the precision and determinacy of legal rules, and the predictability of the environment that they provide. But it is important also to think about the various ways in which law helps to make us more thoughtful and reflective, governing us through standards and principles rather than through the robotic precision of rules. Whether in private law (with standards of reasonable care), or in human rights law (with norms prohibiting inhuman and degrading treatment), law sometimes invites its subjects to make thoughtful judgments about their behaviour or about the situations that they face, structuring and channelling those judgments in various ways.
Professor Tim O’Riordan FBA and Professor Tim Lenton explain the importance of ‘tipping points’ in understanding convulsive change in the world, and offer a manifesto for creating ‘benign’ tipping points to prepare us for future shocks. The British Academy and Royal Society seminar on ‘Tipping Points’ was held at the Kavli Centre on 13-14 April 2011.
Dr Kerri Woods is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of York.