Francis Bennion portrait


Human Rights


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Sexual Ethics

Religion & Belief

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About FB


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. . CV

. . Autobiographical

. . Life photos

. . FB's Scrapbook



. . Chronological

. . Complete list

. . The Bennion Code

. . FB books

. . FB articles etc.

. . FB press letters

. . Book reviews

. . Blogs

. . Archive

. . Acts mentioned

. . People mentioned



. . Chronological

. . Index

. . Press cuttings

. . Reviews-FB books

. .


. . Photograph Album

. . Document list

. . Audio and video





Note:Francis Bennion sadly died on 28 January 2015.

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It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Francis Bennion died on 28th January 2015. A private funeral was held at St. Peter's Church, Budleigh Salterton, Devon UK. GM

This personal site containing items on law and many other topics; is based in England. It was created on 9 November 1999 and mainly comprises downloadable books, articles and other writings by Francis Bennion, of which there are currently 1,011 (see Chronological in left sidebar below). In 2011 this site was added to the 3 Bodleian Library archive as being 'of lasting research value and worthy of permanent preservation for the benefit of scholars and researchers'.


The site was last updated Wednesday 19 February 2014


We have entered a new year in which I hope to have better luck than in 2013, when in December I suffered a hip fracture which has left me incapacitated for a longer period than was expected. I now hope to update the site more frequently than of late.


Guide to FB's website

Click on this link for a short pdf 'slideshow' on how to use this website.

Move from slide to slide using the scroll bar on the right.

FB’s 1939 Scribbling Diary

See what FB, at age 16, thought about the momentous events of 1939.

Latest additions to this site


Failures of the CPS (19 Feb 2014)


Charging for Justice: A Contravention of Magna Carta (6 Dec 2013)


FB's 1939 Scribbling Diary (27 Nov 2013)


Sir James Munby and Legal Policy (4 Nov 2013)


How Our Law Fails the Citizen (1 Nov 2013)


Ghana constitution (drafted by FB) (23 Oct 2013)


Budleigh Salterton cottage hospital, (16 Oct 2013)


Turing Bill (31 Jul 2013)


Hold parliamentary inquiry instead of giving Turing pardon for indecency conviction (31 Jul 2013)


Futility of EU Referendum Bill (24 Jun 2013)


'Can the Law Speak Directly to its Subjects? The Limitation of
Plain Language' by Rabeea Assy (19 Jun 2013)


Privatising courts (12 Jun 2013)


About Francis Bennion . . .

Born 2 January 1923 in Cheshire, England, FB remains active as a writer and academic. At his Devon home, using the internet, he writes or updates his books and articles, does occasional broadcasts, and, with over 150 letters in the Times, as well as many in other newspapers and journals, spreads his opinions on many matters of public concern. Since 1984 he has been a research associate of the Oxford University Centre for Socio-Legal Studies.

During World War II, FB served as a volunteer RAF pilot. He then read law at Balliol and was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple. He became law tutor at St Edmund Hall Oxford, last of the medieval halls. He then practised at the Bar in common law and human rights cases. Later he served 14 years in the Westminster Parliamentary Counsel Office drafting Acts of Parliament for the British Government.

In 1956 FB drafted the constitution by which Pakistan became a republic. Then in 1960 he drafted the constitution by which Ghana became a republic. His first book, explaining the Ghana constitution, followed in 1962.

In the 1960s FB served as chief executive of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and wrote Professional Ethics. He has also written a book, The Sex Code, on sexual ethics.

In 1971-72 FB brought a private prosecution against Peter Hain. After a 10-day Old Bailey trial Hain was convicted of criminal conspiracy to organise illegal direct action protests. His appeal was rejected.

In 1984 FB published his main work, Statutory Interpretation. The fifth edition of this, totalling over 1700 pages, was published in 2008.

FB has founded or co-founded various bodies including the World of Property Housing Trust, Towards One World, the Professional Association of Teachers, the Statute Law Society, the Statute Law Trust, Freedom Under Law, the Dicey Trust, Areopagitica Educational Trust and Towards One World.

FB’s books

FB's Lifetime Achievements

What people say . . .

‘The import of [the noscitur a sociis rule] is best explained in a concise formulation by Francis Bennion in the following words: “A statutory term is recognized by its associated words. The Latin maxim noscitur a sociis states this contextual principle, whereby a word or phrase is not to be construed as if it stood alone but in the light of its surroundings”.’

Central Excise, New Delhi, India

This changes daily.See also my four other daily quotations .

Poetic thought for today

FB's poetic thought for 28 April 2017 is from his book, POEMOTIONS:
I claim my right to live with peace in a fair land;
the right to grow, quietly to enhance
my best chance.

Epistolary thought for today

FB's epistolary thought for 28 April 2017 is from his Times letters:
A successful defendant is entitled to leave the court without stains on his character gratuitously applied by the magistrate who acquits him. (1976)

Review extract for today

The extract for 28 April 2017 from a review of FB's book STATUTORY INTERPRETATION is:
' . . the most highly respected and up to date work on statutory interpretation available in the common law world'- The Tribune (India)

See the complete collection of 31 extracts

Moral thought for today

FB's moral thought for 28 April 2017 is :
It is geography that makes history.