Every month, in a relaxed location in central London the London Legal Salon will meet to discuss the big questions facing the law today. Attendance is always free. This blog will publish articles by attendees and the organisers to supplement the debates at our monthly meetings.

Every meeting will be introduced by a short talk from a lawyer or commentator in the area under examination. The discussion will then be opened to those attending to make contributions or ask questions. The meetings will last around ninety minutes and operate under Chatham House rules.

The discussions and the articles on this website will look to scrutinise the black letter of the law and its implications in the Courts and wider society. They will also look to situate the law in its historical and political context. We hope that by developing an understanding of where the law has come from, and why the law has taken the form it has today, we may begin to form an idea of where we want it to go.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Election Club Night!

Ticklets are now available for our Election Clubnight.  Come and enjoy a drink as we welcome the next government with some of the country's leading political minds. 

* Analysis and predictions throughout the night
* Balloon debate: which UK politician, past or present, deserves to be kept in a doomed hot air balloon? 
* Policy pitch open mic: come and pitch your vision for the future of the UK to the audience. The winning policy wins booze!

Plus live music from some great South London acts. 

Tickets are available through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/london-legal-salon-election-club-night-tickets-16480420381

Tuesday 24 February 2015

VENUE CHANGE 3rd of March 2015

We have had to change the venue for the debate on the 3rd of March from Kings College to the October Gallery in Holborn http://www.octobergallery.co.uk/contact/. The debate will still take place on the same day at 1900 but we will be back at the venue where the series began. As usual,  spaces can be booked at londonlegalsalon@gmail.com

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Abortion and Protest - Do We Need Buffer Zones?

The Institute of Ideas have published the audio from last night's debate.  Listen here:  https://soundcloud.com/institute-of-ideas/london-legal-salon-abortion-debate/s-Y8LbO

Monday 5 January 2015

Abortion and the Law

The London Legal Salon will be kicking off 2015 with a series of debates on Abortion and the Law, in association with the King’s College London Life Society and Right To Life (RTL), which will examine the political climate around abortion in the 21st Century. Our speakers include those at the forefront of both the legal and political changes in the field.

‘Abortion and Protest: Do We Need Buffer Zones?’ (February 10th, 19:00, The October Gallery, £5)
In late 2014 the Labour party indicated their support for legal ‘buffer zones’ around abortion clinics to prevent protests from interfering with the provision of services. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Britain's largest abortion provider, supported the move saying that the pro-life protests outside their clinics cause unwarranted levels of distress to those seeking to access lawful healthcare. Is this an acceptable limitation on the freedom to protest, or an unnecessary expansion of the law into the regulation of free speech?
Speakers: Frank Furedi (University of Kent), Tim Stanley (Daily Telegraph).

‘Abortion – A Legal History’ (February 17th, 19:00, Upstairs at the Perseverance WC1N 3NB)
This seminar will present the history of abortion law in the 20th Century and invite discussion. Readings will be provided in advance.
Speaker: Barbara Hewson (Barrister, 1 Grays Inn Square)

‘What is the Moral Status of the Unborn Child?’ (24th February, 18:15-20:45, Room KU4.12, King’s College London)
The morality of abortion is one of the most contentious ethical issues of modern times. Should a fetus be given moral worth? At what stage does an unborn child become worthy of moral consideration, if at all?
Speakers: Ann Furedi (Chief Executive, British Pregnancy Advisory Service) and Peter D. Williams (Executive Officer, Right To Life)

‘Abortion and Free Speech: Whose Opinion Matters?’ *(3rd March, 19:00, Room KU4.12, King’s College London)
In 2014, a debate at Oxford University between two male journalists was cancelled following a campaign by students. The campaign voiced concerns that the debate would not include a female contributor and would not be fully representative. Do men’s opinions matter in the discussion on abortion? Is a debate on the morality of abortion possible in the absence of a female perspective? Is it a debate open to all or do some views matter more than others?
Speakers: TBC

Please email londonlegalsalon@gmail.com to book a place at a particular debate.

Friday 2 January 2015

2015 programme

The Legal Salon is currently putting the finishing touches to an exciting package of debates for 2015. Keep your eyes on the blog and the Twitter account for further information,  or sign up to the mailing list at londonlegalsalon@gmail.com

Happy New Year!

Saturday 14 June 2014

Are we all legal positivists now?

The next meeting of the London Legal Salon will be on Thursday the 17th of July at 1930.  The venue will be the Perseverance pub in Holborn http://www.the-perseverance.moonfruit.com/

To book a place and to receive the readings please email londonlegalsalon@gmail.com.

The question of the connection between the law and morality is central to the history of legal philosophy. The debate, which has lasted from Ancient Greece to the present day, has been dominated by two broad categories of theory: natural law theory and legal positivism. Classical natural law theorists like Aristotle argued that laws were necessarily connected to man’s moral life, and had as their aim some higher moral – or divine – framework. Legal positivists, whose arguments dominated the 20th Century, argued that natural law theory confused the issue of what the law is and what it ought to be, and that laws could have authority irrespective of whether or not they were ‘good’.

Today, lawyers and Judges tend to think of their role as entirely morally neutral. The idea that the law should reflect, in some way, public morality seems a bit outdated. Why is this? Is it simply because natural law theory has been convincingly defeated? Perhaps the triumph of legal positivism reflects a collapse of moral consensus in wider society? Is there anything from natural law theory worth saving?

Thursday 23 January 2014

The Consumer Rights Bill: The Death of Contract? 18th February 2014 at the Old Bank of England

The London Legal Salon will return to the Old Bank of England (http://oldbankofengland.co.uk/) on Tuesday the 18th of February at 1930. 

Daniel Lloyd, Head of Consumer Law at BT, will introduce a discussion on the Consumer Rights Bill.  A short introduction is below.

Please RSVP to Londonlegalsalon@gmail.com if you would like to attend.

We look forward to seeing you all,

The London Legal Salon 

The Consumer Rights Bill:  The Death of Contract?

The Consumer Rights Bill,  introduced in the Queen’s Speech last year,  was described by the government as the ‘most radical overhaul of consumer law in three decades’.  It purports to clarify and streamline previous legislation governing the law of contract whilst granting new rights to consumers in their relationship with businesses. In June 2014 the new Distance Selling Regulations come into force. Later in the year the Government aim to introduce, for the first time, private rights of enforcement under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs).    

What does this overhaul of consumer law say about the role of law in regulating the changing relationship between businesses and consumers?  Are new consumer rights always a good thing,  and  what do they say about they way we view the public?  

The London Legal Salon welcomes Daniel Lloyd,  Head of Consumer law at BT, to discuss the legal and political context of the Consumer Rights Bill, the CPRs and the DSRs and what it means for the relationship between consumers and business.