Luke Gittos

Luke is a Debating Matters alumnus, currently studying at Sussex University

May 2010

No justice without the public

The public’s role in the administration of justice is simply not an issue at this election. However, it is important to recognise that the absence of discussion around the jury trial is only indicative of a wider gap in political discourse. It is not only the jury trial that is being ignored at this election: it is freedom itself.

March 2010

‘This democracy, it’s a contact sport’

The show does not make the mistake of portraying the white working class as inherently racist, or a mass pogrom waiting to happen. It presents complex and likeable characters that are all, in their own way, desperate to believe that change is possible.

February 2010

‘Democracy’ without politics

Fishkin seems more interested in extracting approval from the public in order to legitimise the power of the elites, than in giving the public a role in political change. Democracy should mean that power is challenged and limited in response to political decisions, not confirmed in advance of them.

October 2009

Legal highs

Mansfield displays a passion for moral argument, which is likely to become rarer and thus considered more and more radical over time, as more and more regulation creeps into the courtroom. It is unlikely that the barristers of tomorrow will dare to talk with any normative authority for fear of missing some vital detail and finding themselves debarred.

July 2009

Legal limits

It is only when Foster’s thesis is bought in line with modern political debate that his argument is interesting and important, because it highlights the tension between an assumption in favour of life and an assumption in favour of personal autonomy.

June 2009

Moving on the human rights debate

Although Stammers makes a powerful and timely case for revaluating our ideas of human rights independently from the state and the law, a more critical approach could easily have led him to conclude that NGOs in fact enforce this connection rather than challenging it.

January 2009

The poverty of moral philosophy

By declaring the ‘solution to the Palestinian problem [is] in no way complex’, Ted Honderich articulates a Western disengagement from ethical debate that has become depressingly mainstream.

September 2008

Being human without the safety net

Existentialism and Humanism is a fantastic piece of popular philosophy: a route into the ideas of some of the greatest philosophers throughout history, and a manifesto for making philosophy ‘useful’ without losing any devotion to scrutiny.

Untrustworthy popularity

Philosophy’s place in popular culture today is centred on self-improvement and egoism; this demeans the potential of philosophical enquiry whilst enforcing the idea that academic philosophy is completely inaccessible.

June 2008

A forward motion

Two campaigners reflect on two days spent arguing for the motion to abolish No Platform at Sussex University.

Culture Wars was included in creativetourists’ Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs 2009.