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We should all be legal purists

Few things are more sinister than a government that does not take seriously its legal obligations

By George Peretz  

Frost deployed the term in a criticism of the EU. PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The phrase of the week in law and politics is “legal purism.” David Frost accused the European Commission of being “legal purists” when it came to the United Kingdom’s obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, and a viral tweet claimed (almost certainly inaccurately) that Michael Gove called the High Court “purist” in finding the award of a contract to a company run by friends of Dominic Cummings to be tainted by apparent bias and hence unlawful.

There is, however, nothing wrong with legal purism. The obligation of governments to comply with the law is fundamental in a democratic…

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