To begin with it is necessary to mention that Lord Denning was a judge for nearly 40 years. His career started in 1944. He often made courageous, however justified decisions and made a great contribution to the development of the law and was rather an influential judge in the Commonwealth and all over the world. He is the most appreciated judge of the 20th century, as he had left an unprecedented mark on the development of the law system and English law in particular.
He was regarded as “the people’s judge” for his eternal wish to override precedent and make iitmore justified as he had seen the issues of justice, and his justice was also simply formulated without complex words and entangled definitions which he delivered in a Hampshire burr.
His judiciary’s usual attitude towards Acts of Parliament may be researched bg his most well-known cases, which are Northman v Barnet LBC (1978), Royal College of Nursing v DHSS (1981), and Mandla v Dowell (1982). The fact is that it is considered that it was Parliament’s aim and intention to empower the law on the issues regarded in the enlisted cases (unequal treatment of the workers, abortions, and discrimination against the plaintiffs within the Race Relations Act 1976) there can be no hesitation that the law may fail due to this essentially and basically flawed check (Stevens, 1997).
Originally, it is not clearly adjusted that judges are free to adopt the purposive strategies if they are able to define the clear statement of the legislation. It is emphasized that unorthodox approach by Lord Denning in advocating the case of Northman v London Borough of Barnet he was merely expressing the view of the Law Commission, which had recommended a similar decision (in 1969) without any success. Anyway, the compared objectives and the examinations of the Northman v London Borough of Barnet case prove the point conclusively. Lord Denning claimed that act by Law Commission should be replaced with one that originally works, which was intended by Parliament. Several efforts to amend the law were failed, however, the reason was not in the lack of support, but the reason was in parliamentary procedures. Consequently, the judiciary’s attitude may be regarded as the necessary action towards law modernization and the extension of the judiciary system. (Wedderburn, 1995).
As for the issues raised in the Royal College of Nursing v DHSS case, it is necessary to emphasize that Denning selected the best decision: the option for reform. Originally, it is emphasized that the offered by the late DHSS claim in the House of Lords in 1980 in a debate he started with the Royal College of Nursing which examined the issue of abortions in the late 70s. In this case, Lord Denning MR has introduced as the recognized expert in human rights issues, and he emphasized that the case required not a standard decision, which should be based not only on the existing law, but also on the experience of judging such cases through the history, and when it was concluded that the case should be also regarded by doctors with nurse experience (Mcleod, 2007).
In the case Mandla v Dowell (1982) it was emphasized that the conduct of the Commission for Racial Equality had been mostly unreasonable and oppressive. Lord Denning M.R. expressed regret that the Commission had taken up the case. Kerr L.J noted the following on this case: “The Commission has a difficult task, and no doubt iinquiriesies will be resented by some and are liable to be regarded as objectionable and inquisitive. But the respondent in this case, who conducted his appeal with restraint and skill, made no complaint of his treatment at the hands of the Commission” (Friedmann. 2005).
The paper defined the judiciary’s usual attitude towards Acts of Parliament, and this attitude is observed in the regarded cases. Actually, it is emphasized that Lord Denning claimed that law is not working as it was intended by the Parliament, and he expressed deep concerns on the matters of the damaging consequences for societies where acts by Parliament are not working, or can not be relied on.
- Friedmann, W., and Alfred Denning. Law and Social Change in Contemporary Britain. London: Stevens, 2005.
- Mcleod, I. Legal Method (Palgrave Macmillan Law Masters). Palgrave Macmillan; 6Rev Ed edition. 2007
- Stevens, Robert Bocking. The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord Chancellor’s Office. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.
- Wedderburn, Lord. Employment Rights in Britain and Europe: Selected Papers in Labour Law. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 2001.
- Wedderburn, Lord. Labour Law and Freedom: Further Essays in Labour Law. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1995.