Shows the historical importance of challenges to the state and powerful groups. Demonstrates how rights we take for granted have been acquired and set into law over time thanks to the actions of committed men and women. A key historical text. A certain level of dissent, protest and open debate is a central part of UK history and democratic processes. Taking key events from both the past and modern times John Hostettler demonstrates how when legitimate avenues of challenge to the actions of the state or other powerful groups become closed to people then they are bound to assert their grievances in other sometimes less acceptable ways.
His book also shows how a proud tradition of opposition in the face of abuse of power, repression, oppression or simply inertia of the part of the authorities has led to many positive changes. Sometimes these quite legitimate outcomes might not have been achieved but for the actions of the few, those who were prepared to stand out against such things as injustice, inequality, corruption, abuse and state-sponsored oppression. John Hostettler also demonstrates how at different times in British history the state has reacted in different ways to ‘trouble causers’, including in some instances by the use of extreme forms of violence, censorship, law and punishments. From questionable incidents of the past to the sometimes dubious workings of modern-day governance, John Hostettler provides a first-rate assessment of such key matters as proportionality, citizens’ rights, tolerance/intolerance, democratic processes and the protections forged over the years. He also shows how the law itself has developed even if this has sometimes quelled the opportunities to oppose vested interests or wealth and power. Waterside Press congratulates John Hostettler on his 21st book written to the same fine standard as all his other works. A must for legal and social historians.
‘This book is a glorious Molotov cocktail to be placed in the hands of every citizen and lobbed at the status quo … A brilliant and exhilarating work. A counter to the politics of passivity‘: Helena Kennedy QC
John Hostettler is one of the UK’s most acclaimed authors on English legal history and legal biography, whose works span a wide range of related topics. He was a practising solicitor in London for thirty-five years as well as undertaking political and civil liberties cases in Nigeria, Germany and Aden. His earlier books include several biographical and historical works and his books for Waterside Press include:
Champions of the Rule of Law (2011);
- Sir William Garrow (2010);
- Thomas Erskine and Trial by Jury (2010);
- Cesare Beccaria (2010);
- A History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales (2009);
- The Criminal Jury Old and New;
- Fighting for Justice -The History and Origins of Adversary Trial; and
- Hanging in the Balance – A History of the Abolition of Capital Punishment in Britain (with Dr Brian P. Block).