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Note:Francis Bennion sadly died on 28 January 2015.

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About FB


CV or résumé

Biographical: 'Factual Outline of Bennion’s Life-Long Involvement with (‘Zeal for’) Statute Law in General, and Special Knowledge of 1974 [Consumer Credit] Act in Particular', by Ross Carter,

Photographs of FB at various ages

Other photographs of FB

Other autobiographical writings by FB

1983.018 'How Bratby Painted My Portrait', Published only on this website


CV or résumé

Francis Bennion


Full name Mr. Francis Alan Roscoe BENNION

Born 2nd January 1923 at Wallasey, Cheshire, England, the only son of Thomas Roscoe Bennion of Liverpool and his wife Ellen Norah Bennion of Manchester.


His name has been in Who’s Who since 1968 and in Debrett’s People of Today since it was established in 1982. The latter says in a 2013 brochure ‘People of Today annually recognises individuals who are the most influential in their chosen fields. Entry is by invitation only.’




Lyon Hall Preparatory School, Harrow 1931-34.

Lower School of John Lyon, Harrow 1934-39.

FB (13 from left in next to back row.) in the OTC showing the Lucas-Tooth Shield

(Report Christmas Term 1938) (School Certificate 1939) (Speech Day 1939) (Reference)



St Andrews University, Scotland 1941 (RAFVR Aircrew course.)

FB at St. Andrews; FB in Bejant's gown

(Certificates Electricity and Magnetism and Mathematics)

Balliol College, University of Oxford 1946-48 (Rowing Balliol first eight 1947; President Younger Society (Balliol) 1947-48; Hon. Secretary Oxford University Law Society 1947-48. Matriculated 1946, BA in law 1949, MA 1954).

(Essays written by FB at Oxford 1946-47)



Called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, January 1951 (14th in Bar Finals).


Academic Prizes

Oxford University  Gibbs Law Scholarship.

Balliol College Oxford  Jenkyns Law Prize, Younger Prize, Paton Memorial Studentship.

Middle Temple  Harmsworth Scholarship.



Married (1) 28 July 1951 Barbara Elisabeth Braendle of Little Hadham, Herts (dissolved 1975), 3 daughters: Alexandra Sarah 1954, Carola Elisabeth 1956, Venetia Mary 1960;

(2) 2 November 1977 Mary Anne Field (widow of Dr William Field of Harley Street W1), née Lynch, of Limerick City, Ireland; no issue.



1. Bank clerk at Gosling’s Branch of Barclays Bank, 19 Fleet Street, London EC4 1940-41.

2. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, commissioned pilot 1941-46 (221 Squadron, Coastal Command).

3. An editor of Halsbury's Statutes with Butterworths 1948.

4. Lecturer and tutor in law, St Edmund Hall in the University of Oxford 1951-53. Announcement of FB's resignation. FB's law prize.

5. Practice at the Bar of England and Wales 1951-1994 (except 1965-73), including office as Parliamentary Counsel (drafting UK government legislation) 1953-65 and 1973-75.

6. Constitutional drafting in Pakistan 1956.

7. Drafting on secondment in Ghana, produced new system of publishing statutes and statutory instruments (loose-leaf), wrote Constitutional Law of Ghana, 1959-61.

8. Lecturer on legislation at Treasury Centre for Administrative Studies, and also at official Marlborough House courses for Commonwealth draftsmen. 1963-65.

9. Chief Executive, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Governor of the College of Estate Management 1965-68.

10. Founded Statute Law Society 1968.

11. Member of general committee, Bar Association for Commerce, Finance and Industry. Member, official working party on Classification of U.K. statutes. Member of Heap Committee, Vice-Chairman of Stow Hill Committee (both set up by the Statute Law Society - reports published in 1970 and 1972 respectively by Sweet and Maxwell) 1968-71.

12. Co-founder 1968 and first national chairman 1968-1972, emeritus chairman 1972 to date, Professional Association of Teachers (PAT, now Voice, the union for education professionals).

13. Founder 1968 and first chairman 1968-72, Vice President 1986 to date, World of Property Housing Trust (now Sanctuary Housing Association).

14. Consultant to Jamaica Government and others on Constitutional Law and Tax Law 1968-1975.

15. In 1970 founded Save the ’70 Exams.

16. Lecturer, Council of Legal Education 1982-1983 (lectures to Bar students on Statutory Interpretation).

17. Member of the Law Faculty of the University of Oxford, member of Congregation (Governing Body of University), 1984 to 2002. (retired on age grounds).

18. Research associate, University of Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, 1984 to date.


General: As a constitutional lawyer, has advised at various times the governments of the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Ghana, Jamaica and Gibraltar. Drafted constitutions for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (1956) and Republic of Ghana (1959-1961) on those countries attaining the status of independent republics. In UK drafted legislation including Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, Consumer Credit Act 1974, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and many other Acts.

Admitted to membership of Mensa 1966.


Founder or co-founder of the following registered charities:

Statute Law Society 1968.

World of Property Housing Trust (now Sanctuary Housing Association) 1968.

(Chairman 1968-72, Vice-President 1986 to date).

Professional Association of Teachers, now VOICE. (co-founder 1968 and first chairman 1968-1972).

Dicey Trust 1975.

Towards One World 1979.

Areopagitica Educational Trust 1979 (co-founder).

Statute Law Trust 1992.


Founder etc. of other organisations:

Defence of Literature and the Arts Society (DLAS), now Campaign Against Censorship (member of Executive Committee 1968-1983).

Freedom Under Law, founder 1971.

Statute Law Review, co-founder 1980.

Oxford City FC, Chairman 1988-89 (Refounded).


Membership of other organisations:

Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

Bar of England and Wales.


Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC).

Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA).

Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

Royal Commonwealth Society.

Society of Authors.

Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) (formerly Society of Legal Teachers of Law).

Tax Law Review Committee

Younger Society (Balliol College).




Law Books:

Constitutional Law of Ghana 1962.

Tangling with the Law:Reforms in Legal Process 1970.

Consumer Credit Control (four volumes loose leaf) 1976-2000.

Consumer Credit Act Manual, 1st edn 1978, 2nd edn 1981, 3rd edn 1986.

Bennion on Statute Law, 1st edn 1980, 2nd edn 1983, 3rd edn 1990

Bennion on Statutory Interpretation, 1st edn 1984, 2nd edn 1992, 3rd edn 1997, 4th edn 2002, 5th edn 2008.

Understanding Common Law Legislation 2002.

Sexual Ethics and Criminal Law 2003.

Sexual Offenses Act: Sexual Offences by Children 2003.


Other books:

Professional Ethics: The Consultant Professions and Their Code 1969.

Victorian Railway Days 1989.

The Sex Code: Morals for Moderns 1991.

The Blight of Blairism 2002.

Poemotions: Bennion Undraped 2003.


Contributions to books:

All England Law Reports Annual Review (Chapter on Statute Law) 1985 - to date.

Information Sources of Law (ed. R. G. Logan) 1986.

The Law Commission and Law reform (ed. G. Zellick) 1988.

Reviewing Legal Education (ed. P. Birks) 1994.

Halsbury's Laws of England (4th edn reissue, title Statutes)1995.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

Brian Hunt's The Irish Statute Book: A Guide to Irish Legislation 2007 (Consulting Editor).


Articles in legal journals:

British Tax Review.

Commonwealth Lawyer.

Computers and Law.


Criminal Law and justice Weekly.

Criminal Law Review.

Current Law.

Denning Law Journal.

Estates Gazette.

Journal of Business Law.

Journal of the Judicial Studies Board.

Journal of the Law Society.

Journal of the Society of Legal Scholars.

Justice of the Peace.

Law Guardian.

Law Society's Gazette.

Modern Law Review.

New Law Journal.

Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.

Public Law.

Solicitors Journal.

Statute Law Review.

University of New South Wales Law Journal.

Web Journal of Current Legal Issues.


Freelance journalism for:

The Guardian.

London Review of Books.

New Society.

New Statesman.

Oxford Today.

The Times.


Assiduous writer to the editor, with over 100 letters published in The Times alone.



Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, commissioned pilot 1941-46


1941.03.03. Testimonial from Barclays Bank on joining the RAF