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Open and Shut Cases

Simon Lee

The need for judges, lawyers, law students and the general public alike, to keep an open mind in legal affairs, was highlighted by OU Professor Simon Lee in his Open University inaugural lecture on Thursday 4 May 2017.

In Open and Shut Cases, Simon Lee, Professor of Law and Director of Citizenship & Governance Research at The Open University, considered where much of the media and the public mistakenly assume that cases are open and shut. He addressed recent examples from law, sport, literature and university life, from accusations of plagiarism and cheating to political U-turns, right up to the attack on Westminster in 2017.

Much of the inspiration for his inaugural is drawn from the case of John v Rees [1970], where Sir Robert Megarry was deciding a case about a Labour Party meeting in 1968 which had been abandoned in disorder.

Watch the video of Professor Simon Lee’s inaugural lecture:

Open and Shut Cases

About Professor Lee

Simon Lee became Professor of Law at The Open University in December 2015 and is now also Director of Citizenship & Governance Research. He is a Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, and Emeritus Professor of Jurisprudence, Queen’s University, Belfast. He was a Brackenbury Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford (1976-1979) and a Harkness Fellow at Yale Law School (1979-1980). After being a lecturer in law at Trinity College, Oxford, and King’s College London, he became Professor of Jurisprudence at Queen’s (1989-1995) and served as the Dean of the Faculty of Law. He has returned to research in law and related disciplines after leading organisations including Liverpool Hope University College, Leeds Metropolitan University and the Cambridge Theological Federation.

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