Populism is one of those words that means different things to different people, and on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Such differences may lead to transatlantic misunderstandings that may, as I hope to demonstrate, have calamitous consequences.

Another such source of misunderstanding is the notion of freedom, as in “Is it a free country?” This was the title of one of the Uncommon Cases of A. P. Herbert, the distinguished writer and undistinguished barrister (he wrote more than fifty books but never actually practiced law).

Populism means different things to different people.

The fictional Lord Chief Justice, Lord Light, considers the appeal of the veteran litigant Albert Haddock against his conviction for jumping off Hammersmith Bridge during a Thames regatta, for...


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