An early judicial activist, Lord Denning foreshadowed the move towards moulding the law to suit changing times and circumstances, in a period when most judges adhered to precedent.
Lord Hailsham, when Lord Chancellor, said: “The trouble with Tom Denning is he’s always re-making the law and we never know where we are.”
Which is why all real legal systems work by precedent; that way there is equality of law, everyone can predict the outcome of the trial because everyone knows what the law is, and since everyone knows what the law is everyone can abide by it. This is what we call “Rule of Law” because it is the Law that decides what happens, the opposite is “Rule of Man” because Law goes out of the window and judges make their own choices based on their own personal preferences. Rule of Law prevents:
But his own prejudices could come out. One of the most notorious judgments concerned a student teacher sent down for having sex with her boyfriend in her hall of residence. Lord Denning strongly approved, saying a young woman who behaved in such a way would never have made a teacher.
It is not for judges to make the Law, it is for them only to apply it. It’s no surprise that I found this in that leftist rag The Guardian.