Former Student Thomas Grant QC Looks at 'The Political Jury' in Second Lecture

Posted On: 12/01/21

Yesterday evening former student Thomas Grant QC (at CRGS between 1981-87) gave the second of four free lectures on 'The Politics of the Courtroom' at Gresham College.

Thomas is a leading silk in practice at Maitland Chambers and one of the busiest members of the English Bar. He is also a bestselling writer about law.

The second lecture in the series looks at 'The Political Jury':

Is the jury system the bulwark of individual liberty? This lecture looks at the role of the so-called "perverse jury" in acquitting defendants where the law, or the charge itself, is deemed unjust. Famous examples are Kempton Bunton (for the "theft" of Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington in the 1960s), Clive Ponting, and Michael Randle and Pat Pottle. But the jury can also be a bastion of prejudice: in Apartheid South Africa black defendants would typically elect for trial by judge alone, fearful of an all-white jury. This lecture asks whether the jury system needs improvement. Should its right to deliver a perverse verdict be curtailed?

The first lecture in his series, ‘The Political Lawyer’, was given on Monday 19th October 2020. The next lectures will be ‘The Politics of Judging’ (Monday 29th March 2021) and ‘The Politics of Judicial Appointment’ (Monday 10th May 2021).

Given the current climate, each lecture is live-streamed and then made available to watch on Gresham College's website within a week. If you would like to read more about Thomas’ series of lectures, register to watch the live-streams, or watch them online when they have been made available, you can find more information here: (