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