Law, Ethics, and Society Discussion Group

The Thomas More Institute, which promotes principled engagement with a variety of public issues of moment, established in 2007 a Discussion Group for exploration of the philosophical and moral underpinnings of the Law especially among younger practitioners. As of September 2011 the title of the series is changed, the better to reflect the reality of its content. Meetings are held at more or less monthly intervals, 7.30pm to 9.00pm on Monday evenings, at a venue near the City. Normally a short prepared paper is given by a participant or a guest speaker to set the scene prior to discussion becoming general around the table. At times sessions are of a more philosophical or theoretical nature while other meetings revisit the thinking behind specific judicial decisions.

Papers delivered at the latest sessions

11 June 2012
Morality in the City: A Personal View
Patrick Long

2 April 2012
Ethics in the City: A View from the Edge
Nicolas J. Bellord

5 March 2012
The Law, Leveson and Liberty
Campbell Murdoch

3 October 2011
Laymen on the Bench: Opportunities and Challenges for Contemporary Magistrates
Timothy Ayles

6 June 2011
Was Osama Right? The Legal Justification for Islamist Terrorism
James Hutchinson

11 April 2011
EU Climate Change Law and the Challenge of Addressing Overconsumption
Dr. Javier de Cendra de Larragán

7 March 2011
At Arm's Length: Why Are Cultural Insititutions in Britain Governed by Trustees and Not Run by the Government, and Does it Matter?
Dr. Jonathan Williams

7 February 2011
The Rule of Law in Russia: A Nation Trapped in Tradition?
Dominic Schofield

6 December 2010
Reconciling Security Against Terrorism With Human Rights
Michel Massih QC

1 November 2010
Medicine, Conscientious Objection and Article 9
Mark Campbell

10 May 2010
Should the Law Protect Fools? -- or, a Discourse on Recent Developments in the Law to Prevent a Fool and his Money from being so Easily Parted
Joel Coles

12 April 2010
Conflicts of Interest: Can they Ever be 'Managed'?
Stephen Hornsby

8 February 2010
Regulation, Administrative Law and Socio-Legal Research: The Debate over Legitimacy and Governance in the International Arena
Andrés G. Watty

11 January 2010
Juristocracy from a UK and European Perspective
Gerard Conway
Read More

14 December 2009
Concordats and Formal Legal Relations between States and the Holy See Today: Reasons and Consequences
Prof. Marek Smid
2 November 2009
Convergence and Contrast in Health Care Law Around the Atlantic
Martin Meenagh
22 June 2009
'By St. Julian!': a Human Rights Reflection on the Feast of St. Thomas More
Mark de Pulford
11 May 2009
Is an Unjust Law No Law? Some Modern Examples
Roger Turner, a solicitor advocate
27 April 2009
Rupert Talbot-Garman, a solicitor with Middleton Potts, specialising in international commercial shipping
30 March 2009
When is Trading Wrongful?
Anthony Doherty, a Masters student at UCL Law School, reading International Banking and Finance Law 
23 February 2009
The Law and Ethics of Money Production
David Burke, solicitor with Sidley Austin LLP
1 December 2008
Spiritual Roots of English Legal Positivism
Prof. Anthony Carty, Professor of Public Law, University of Aberdeen
17 November 2008
A Thomist Looks at the Markets
Howard Trust, Group General Counsel, Schroders
27 October 2008
Human Rights in International Law - Losing the Plot?
Nigel Parker, adviser on international human rights law

30 June 2008
Legislative Dilemmas: Cooperation and Cooperation2
Stephan Barrie, Education Officer for the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics, London

19 May 2008
Rights, Value Pluralism and Linguistic Vagueness
Gunnar Beck, lecturer in EU Law and Legal Theory at SOAS, and a parliamentary legal adviser on EU law 
Read More 

31 March 2008
Freedom of Conscience in UK Law: What is it About?
Thomas Chacko, St Edmund Hall, Oxford

25 February 2008
Human Rights Law: Help or Hindrance?
Shu Shin Luh and Felicity Williams, barristers at Doughty Street Chambers

26 November 2007
Was the Iraq War Lawful?
Peter Smith, trainee Barrister and Matthew McDermott, international regulatory consultant

29 October 2007
Discovering the Natural Law in Everyday Discourse
Michael Moore, Integrity Psychologist and commentator on socio-legal issues

24 September 2007
The Morality of Tax Avoidance
David Burke, Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft LLP

25 June 2007
Bland and Fallacious Distinctions? Acts, Omissions and the Sanctity of Life
(cf. Airedale NHS Trust v Bland)
Richard Sear, 1 Hare Court, Temple

21 May 2007
Legislating Morality: The Myth of Legal Neutrality
Matthew O’Brien, Corpus Christi College, Oxford

16 April 2007
Why Natural Law Matters
Russell Wilcox, TMI

If you would like to receive more information about the activities of the Law, Ethics and Society Discussion Group, please contact us at: