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Nov 05

Heritage Event: The Urge to Over-Legislate: Criminal Law and Public Opinion in the United Kingdom

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

The U.K. Parliament shares Congress's propensity to criminalize many economic and social activities that have produced great benefits for the English-speaking world and for mankind in general.  Inigo Bing is a London Circuit Judge in one of the United Kingdom's largest criminal courts.  He routinely witnesses the irrational and unjust results of Parliament's urge to over-legislate and overcriminalize.

The primary function of both Parliament and Congress is to pass laws.  Because members of both bodies are selected by popular election, they are prone to create a new law any time a clamor arises for one.  No longer satisfied with regulating, Parliament and Congress increasingly prefer to criminalize.  Judge Bing argues that many new laws imposing criminal liability are unjust and destructive.  At their root, they depart from our two nations' shared common-law understanding of the essential nature and purposes of the criminal law.

Before his current judgeship, Judge Bing was a District Judge in criminal cases, and he was a practicing barrister before ascending to the bench.  Under the Social Democratic Party (now the Liberal Democrats), he was a candidate in the 1983 and 1987 British General Elections.  Judge Bing also serves as chairman of the Reform Club in Pall Mall, whose members have included Winston Churchill, Hilaire Belloc, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

More About the Speakers

His Honour Judge Inigo Bing
Circuit Judge,
Snaresbrook Crown Court,
United Kingdom

Hosted By

Edwin Meese III Edwin Meese III

Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus Read More