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Law and the Spirit of Inquiry

Essays in Honour of Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, QC

Edited by Charles Blake and Gavin Drewry

This rich and fascinating collection of essays, in honour of Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, reflects the high regard in which he is held throughout the world. In his Foreword to the book, Lord Woolf, the Master of the Rolls, emphasises the contribution which Sir Louis has made, `in so many capacities. Of course as an advocate and an eminent Queen's Counsel (both in England and Wales and Northern Ireland); he frequently appeared for those who are disadvantaged against the establishment ... Louis' commitment has been on an international scale and in many of the out-of-the-way parts of the world he has a near-hero status. Not many Queen's Counsel will, for example, have been prepared to make the near 6-week journey to St. Helena to defend a client ... His extraordinary range of writing should not be forgotten. Besides his numerous articles for legal journals, he was the author of many books ... His writing demonstrates not only his erudition but also the breadth of his interests. Alas, not many lawyers or judges share Sir Louis' concern about the literary quality of their writing ... As part of his contribution to justice, I include his Chairmanship of the Press Council ... One of the most difficult and sensitive areas in which to achieve justice arises where the freedom of media and the press come into conflict with the rights of the individual to have his privacy respected ... not only was Sir Louis a distinguished last Chairman of the Press Council, he was responsible for the issue of a Code of Practice which was in some ways the precursor of the Code of the New Press Complaints Commission.'
`Louis has also been a great campaigner for law reform. He has many achievements to his credit but I suspect that the cause which was closest to his heart was penal reform. A number of extremely authoritative contributions to this Festschrift therefore focus on some of the areas of reform for which Sir Louis campaigned ... However, it is in connection with the Inquiries that he has conducted that Sir Louis has found the most important outlet for his abundant talents. His creativity, his powers of analysis, his understanding and ability to relate to the public have again and again been called on by the government of the day and other institutions, both in this country and abroad, when matters of great public concern have arisen.'
All the distinguished contributors to this Festschrift have known and esteemed Sir Louis in one or more of his multifarious capacities. They and the editors dedicate this volume to this remarkable man with their admiration and warm affection.