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Why Sumption-sceptics should look again

The former Supreme Court judge turned lockdown critic has some sharp words on government overreach

By Alex Dean   April 2021
Jonathan Sumption in his Supreme Court Chambers in 2012 (Bobbo's Pix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Jonathan Sumption in his Supreme Court Chambers in 2012 (Bobbo's Pix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Jonathan Sumption has had a controversial 12 months even by his standards. The former Supreme Court judge’s condemnation of Covid-19 restrictions has scandalised the scientific community—and sometimes the public. In a recent television appearance, he told a cancer patient that her life was “less valuable” than other people’s.

So I opened his new book with a sense of trepidation, prepared for reams of armchair epidemiology. But in this collection of 12 essays, not new but updated for our times, we see Sumption back at his most interesting, cantering over law, history, politics and the constitution with all the…

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