News

The Path to Public Service at SEAS

News

Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits? That ‘Would Be Fine,’ Breyer Says at Harvard IOP Forum

News

Harvard Right to Life Hosts Anti-Abortion Event With Students For Life President

News

Harvard Researchers Debunk Popular Sleep Myths in New Study

News

Journalists Discuss Trump’s Effect on the GOP at Harvard IOP Forum

Sir Frederick Pollock's Lecture.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Sir Frederick Pollock gave the first of his series of five lectures yesterday afternoon in the New Lecture Hall, on "The Foundations of Justice." The second lecture, on "The Scales of Justice," will be given this afternoon at 3 o'clock.

The Hall was already filled, when President Eliot introduced the speaker. He said in part: Our system of justice, the Common Law, is of Germanic origin and is a flexible and living law of a thousand years' growth. While the Roman law is older, still it shows no such uninterrupted continuity, no such persistent individuality. Our system is founded on principles, which were evident in early English justice and which, though changed and developed, have, in general character, remained constant. Early justice was rough, and the county-court, perhaps, a disorderly public-meeting; yet in its publicity lay the root of our present system. Our courts, in contrast to the inquisitorial tribunals of the Romans, have followed a rule of neutrality; they know only what is brought before them, they are impartial. Ever since the middle of the thirteenth century, when the King's judges broke down local custom, men have been governed by a law and custom of the realm which has been judge-made. Finally, unlike the administrative law in the code-countries on the Continent, no attempt has ever been made in our system to set up any class immunity. These principles of the Common Law are the foundations of our justice.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags