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Lord Sumption: the only coherent position is locking down without limit—or not locking down at all

The former Supreme Court justice replies to a recent Prospect piece on liberty, law and the lockdown from Thomas Poole of the LSE

By Jonathan Sumption  

Photo: BBC/Richard Ansett

Professor Poole accuses me of “facile contrarianism” for suggesting that it “is our business, not the state’s, to say what risks we will take with our own health.” The essence of his argument is in his last sentence: “only law can guarantee the social structures that make free life possible.” Of course that is true, and I am not “blind” to the fact.

But it does not follow that all laws are admirable, or that every policy dilemma calls for a legal solution. Nor does it…

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