Against the Law
Why Justice Requires Fewer Laws and a Smaller State
One of Britain’s leading barristers argues for a world in which the law should play a smaller part in all our lives.
Understanding the main political projects of our times, and their plans to expand or shrink the law, is the first step towards achieving greater equality and averting climate disaster.
Since 2016, Britain has been ruled by populists, who promise to expand democracy and shrink the law by taking back power from the European Union. Yet what these populists have actually done in power is institute a vast increase in new laws, made by ministers and not Parliament, regulating every aspect of our lives.
This move of promising less law while actually expanding it, has been characteristic of our lives for forty years, ever since the neoliberal counter-revolution. Every year, new criminal offences are created; new regulations are introduced.
Renton’s book dares us to imagine a world in which workers are winning, and ecocide treated with the urgency that it deserves. These changes can only come about, he argues, if the movements of the oppressed choose to disengage from the law.