Thanks for the mention, Simon.

I think "rights" must include contingent rights — those that have not yet been upheld by a court. Those rights are surely the correlative of someone else's obligations — in this case the government's — as you will remember if you took the jurisprudence paper and had to read Hohfeld.

And I don't accept that lawyers make new law. They may initiate the law-making process. But lawyers are powerless unless they can persuade the courts to find in their favour.


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Many thanks for running with the debate, Joshua. I am a regular reader of your column at rozenberg.substack.com and heartily recommend it to my readers.

I didn't take the jurisprudence paper at university. It wasn't an option on the Mathematics degree, which I read whilst DP was studying law.

I am not sure whether your second paragraph (re rights) is intended to disagree with me or not. I certainly agree with what you say on the point and was conscious of it when I wrote what I did in the main piece. So, if there is an inconsistency between that belief and what I wrote, I am sadly missing it. (If you wish to point it out here, I promise to study it.)

On your point about lawyers not making the law, may I remind you that my piece started with a reference to judges before moving on to barristers. I concluded by saying that senior lawyers can make the law (ie judges) or at least reinterpret it (ie barristers identifying potentially new options for the court to decide upon).

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I think we agree more than we disagree. I’m happy to leave it there.

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