Francis Bennion portrait


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Note:Francis Bennion sadly died on 28 January 2015.

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Letters in newspapers - The Times


The letters are arranged according to the section of The Times in which they appeared. Within each section they are listed chronologically. FB's first letter to The Times was published in 1949.


The Times

Letters on The Times main letters page

Letters on The Times Business News page

Letters on The Times Debate page

Letters in The Times Law

Letters in the Times Literary Supplement (TLS)

Letters on The Times Register (Lives Remembered) page

Letters in The Times Public Agenda

Letters on The Times Modern Times page




Letters on The Times main letters page

1949.001 T001L Charity law: cats or monks?


1965.001 T002L Fairness to ratepayers

1971.009 T003L FB’s prosecution of Peter Hain for criminal conspiracy


1972.001 T004L Costs of FB’s prosecution of Peter Hain

1976.011 T005L How to treat obscenity
1976.012 T006L Are MPs competent legislators?
1976.013 T007L Democracy endangered by clumsy parliamentary procedures
1976.014 T008L Pairing of MPs: good faith needed
1976.015 T009L Elective dictatorship: a false charge by Lord Hailsham
1976.016 T010L The House of Lords as a revising chamber
1976.017 T011L Magistrate defames defendant while acquitting him

1977.010 T012L Is pornography therapeutic?
1977.011 T013L Hailsham’s ‘elective dictatorship’ again
1977.012 T014L Mary Whitehouse prosecutes for blasphemy
1977.013 T015L Should there be mirrors in the Gents?
1977.014 T016L Should the right of private prosecution exist?

1978.014 T017L Creation of ‘library copyright’?

1978.015 T018L Drawbacks of a Bill of Rights
1978.016 T019L Why the European Human Rights Convention should not be part of our law
1978.017 T020L Chivalry and El Vino’s

1978.018 T021L Advantages of abolishing the House of Lords

1978.024 T022L Further thoughts on abolishing the House of Lords


1979.014 T023L When crimes should be prosecuted


1980.023 T024L Further objections to a Bill of Rights
1980.024 T025L Further objections to the European Human Rights Convention


1980.025 T026L Attempted theft

1980.026 T027L Further thoughts on crimes of attempt

1980.027 T028L How the House of Lords could reform itself
1980.028 T029L Why there should be a Human Rights parliamentary select committee


1981.017 T030L Why Lord Denning should retire


1983.011 T031L Delays in activating the Consumer Credit Act 1974
1983.012 T032L Why Acts should contain a ‘historical file’
1983.013 T033L Objections to proportional representation
1983.014 T034L Our house is still our castle
1983.015 T035L There will never again be paid jobs for all
1983.016 T036L More thoughts on unemployment

1984.003 T037L The miners’ strike: failing to prosecute Scargill
1984.004 T038L Treating fines as a business expense
1984.005 T039L More thoughts on prosecuting Scargill
1984.006 T040L Women entitled to ordination since 1919
1984.007 T041L Still more thoughts on prosecuting Scargill

1985.004 T042L Juries trying aliens
1985.005 T043L The missing concept of courtesy

1986.009 T044L Why water shouldn’t be privatised
1986.010 T045L Round-the-houses motor racing
1986.011 T046L Walking to school

1988.009 T047L An accused’s right to silence

1988.010 T048L Justice must be seen to be done

1989.008 T049L What’s wrong with Bar’s Chambers system
1989.009 T050L Judges’ interference with Government
1989.010 T051L Integrating Ulster with rest of UK
1989.011 T052L Controlling football hooligans

1990.008 T053L Ulster ruled by political parties it didn’t elect
1990.009 T054L IRA murder of Ian Gow MP
1990.010 T055L Why not treat Conservatives as an Ulster political party?

1991.006 T056L Keeping the common law up to date

1992.003 T057L Consent to a private prosecution
1992.004 T058L Licensing of homicide by judges

1994.009 T059L Humanist morality
1994.010 T060L Should we have a ‘not proven’ verdict?

1995.008 T061L Can non-lawyers understand legislation?
1995.009 T062L Pakistan threat to non-Islamic religions
1995.010 T063L How bank holidays spread to neighbouring days
1995.011 T064L Official failure to resist direct action militants
1995.012 T065L Government interference with prosecution policy

1996.005 T066L Using inexperienced legislative drafters
1996.006 T067L Islam’s unlawful English parliament
1996.007 T068L European court extends its own jurisdiction
1996.008 T069L Goldsmith’s absurd referendum question

1997.003 T070L Judicial officers must be ‘high-principled’
1997.004 T071L MPs who will not take the oath
1997.005 T072L Overruling of film censor by local authority
1997.006 T073L Attack on Viscount Tonypandy
1997.007 T074L Meaning of ‘public authority’ in Human Rights Bill

1998.019 T075L New House of Lords should not be elected
1998.020 T076L New House of Lords should not be chosen like a jury
1998.021 T077L Frank Field MP as a man of principle
1998.022 T078L More objections to proportional representation

1999.032 T079L More on judicial expansionism
1999.033 T080L Delay in activating Human Rights Act 1998
1999.034 T081L Should there be an English Parliament?
1999.035 T082L Reliance on implication in legislation
1999.036 T083L More on judicial expansionism

2000.058 T084L More on membership of new House of Lords
2000.059 T085L Tony Martin: more on the house as a castle
2000.060 T086L News officially stage-managed
2000.061 T087L More on Human Rights Act 1998
2000.062 T088L The Human Rights Act 1998 and under-age sex
2000.063 T089L Derisory royalties for academic authors

2001.033 T090L What MPs say about the meaning of Bills
2001.034 T091L Criminalising underage sex between age-mates
2001.035 T092L More on criminalising underage sex
2001.036 T093L Unlawful acts of Northern Ireland Secretary
2001.037 T094L Criminalising criticism of religion

2002.011 T095L Keeping civil servants independent of Government
2002.012 T096L Old people and computers
2002.013 T097L Trade unions and ‘cash for influence’
2002.014 T098L Iraq: war not the ugliest of things

2003.018 T099L Common law is behind Human Rights Act 1998
2003.019 T100L Why we should keep the Lord Chancellor

2003.020 T101L Bias and the BBC’s responsibilities (Iraq war)

2003.021 T102L Honours system restricts freedom


2004.022 T103L Fair trials and suicide bombers

2004.023 T104L Racism: Ron Atkinson’s TV slip

2004.024 T105L Mental Capacity Bill

2004.032 T106L The Times goes 'compact'


2005.014 T107L Stirring up religious hatred

2005.027 T108L Arguments against proportional representation


2006.006 T109L Legislave and Regulatory Reform Bill, 20 February 2006

2006.026 Legislation in plain English?, Sent on 17 June 2006 but not published


2007.008 T110L Clearing the Court for Niqab wearers, 30 Apr 2007

2007.010 T111L Blair's right to act as Prime Minister when retiring, 8 Jun 2007

2007.016 T112 Blair's right to act as Prime Minister when retiring (3), 12 Jun 2007


2008.008 T113L Ed Balls attacked over his bullying of schools, 23 Apr 2008 Lead letter

2008.018 T114L Poor quality of Bill for extending 28-day charging period, 11 Jun 2008 (lead letter)


2009.015 T115L Rules were broken in MPs’ expenses scandal, The Times Letters, 25 May 2009


2011.006 T116L Drawbacks of the Alternative Vote, The Times Letters 20 Apr 2011

2011.007 T117L Judges' opinions and the law, The Times 3 May 2011 (lead letter)

2011.011 T118L 'Privacy and Ryan Giggs', The Times Letters 25 May 2011

2011.012 T119L 'DPP acts unlawfully on assisted suicide 1', The Times 31 May 2011

2011.013 T120L 'DPP acts unlawfully on assisted suicide 2',The Times 3 Jun 2011

2011.014 T121L 'Abolishing the crime of sedition at just the wrong time', The Times 9 Jun 2011 (lead letter)

2011.019 T122L 'Breaking the rules in investigative journalism', The Times 25 Jul 2011

2011.022 T123L 'Public libraries are protected by law', The Times 16 Aug 2011

2011.024 T124L 'House of Lords reform: outside expertise', The Times 29 Aug 2011

2011.026 T125L 'Assisted suicide and the rule of law', The Times 6 Sep 2011 (lead letter)

2011.027 T126L 'Pressure on private schools to help state schools', The Times 12 Oct 2011

2011.029 T127L 'Strasbourg Judgments Bind the UK', The Times 26 Oct 2011

2011.030 T128L 'St Paul’s and the rule of law', The Times 14 Nov 2011


2012.001 T129L 'Disgraceful pollution of St Paul’s Cathedral', The Times 23 Jan 2012

2012.002 T130L 'No votes in law reform', The Times 3 Feb 2012

2012.003 T131L 'Latin for "Defender of the Rule of Law"', The Times 3 Jan 2012

2012.004 T132L 'Judge mistakes law in town hall prayer ban', The Times 14 Feb 2012

2012.005 T133L 'Are tax authorities acting outside the law?', The Times 2 Mar 2012

2012.007 T134L 'Aggressive tax avoidance', The Times, 30 Mar 2012

2012.008 T135L 'Sustainable Development: a Monstrous Planning Term', The Times (Letters) 9 Apr 2012

2012.009 T136L 'An evolutionary solution to the problem of House of Lords reform', The Times (Letters) 23 Apr 2012 p. 23

2012.011 T137L 'Rule of Law infringed by Chancellor of the Exchequer', The Times 22 May 2012

2012.013 T138L 'Advantages of the hereditary system of Monarchy', The Times 7 Jun 2012

2012.016 T139L 'Ignorant Lawmakers', The Times 3 Jul 2012

2012.017 T140L 'Unlawful appointment of Lord Chancellor (1)', The Times 7 Sep 2012

2012.018 T141L 'Unlawful appointment of Lord Chancellor (2)', The Times 12 Sep 2012

2012.019 T142L 'Using Law to Uphold Law', The Times 28 Sep 2012

2012.020 T143L 'Who is to blame for tax avoidance?', The Times 8 Oct 2012

2012.024 T144L 'National security trumps open justice', The Times 22 Nov 2012

2012.025 T145L 'Treat journalism as a profession with its own ethical charter', The Times 5 Dec 2012


2013.004 T146L 'Reviving the constitutional crisis between the executive and the judges', Published in The Times 20 Feb 2013

2013.007 T147L 'Head of Commonwealth must act only on advice', The Times 12 Mar 2013

2013.008 T148L 'Why we don’t want a press statute', The Times 18 Mar 2013

2013.010 T149L 'Dubious press amendments', The Times 22 Mar 2013

2013.011 T150L 'Dangers of Secret Arrests', The Times 15 Apr 2013

2013.012 T151L 'Trying to deport Abu Qatada' - Letter 1, The Times 27 Apr 2013

2013.013 T152L 'Trying to deport Abu Qatada' - Letter 2, The Times 1 May 2013

2013.013 T153L ‘Loss of respect for senior judges', The Times 16 May 2013

2013.016 T154L 'Privatising courts', The Times, 10 Jun 2013

2013.017 T155L 'Futility of EU Referendum Bill', The Times 22 Jun 2013

2013.018 T156L 'Hold parliamentary inquiry instead of giving Turing pardon for indecency conviction', The Times, 29 Jul 2013

2013.022 T157L 'Sir James Munby and Legal Policy', The Times 31 October 2013

2013.023 T158L 'Charging for Justice: A Contravention of Magna Carta', The Times 5 December 2013


Letters on The Times Business News page


1978.013 BN001L Need for a Council of Consultant Professions


Letters on The Times Debate page


2002.015 D001L Regional assemblies betray the ancient kingdom of England
2002.016 D002L Conservative Party members not washed up

2003.022 D003L Rowan Williams is wrong man for job
2003.023 D004L When flexitime is unreasonable
2003.024 D005L Destroying the wonderful thing called childhood
2003.025 D006L Is debt an evil?

2003.026 D007L Naked ramblers

2003.027 D008L Hutton Inquiry


2004.010 D009L Reforming the Honours System

2004.011 D010L Defects of the draft European Union Constitution

2004.012 D011L Smacking of children

2004.039 D012L ‘Should the BBC governors resign’ letter to Times debate, 30 Aug 2004


Letters in the The Times Law


2005.026 L001L Homophobia in Times Law


Letters in the Times Literary Supplement (TLS)


2011.008 TLS001L Name of Julian Maclaren-Ross, TLS 6 May 2011

2011.020 TLS002L Francis Bennion’s 1941 RAF Course at St Andrews University, TLS 12 Aug 2011



Letters on The Times Register (Lives Remembered) pages


2002.010. LR001L More on Sir Garfield Todd deceased

2003.013 LR002L More on Lord Jenkins of Hillhead deceased
2003.014 LR003L More on Sir John Smith QC deceased
2003.015 LR004L More on Edward Erdman deceased

2003.016 LR005L Godfrey Carter CBE deceased

2003.017 LR006L More on Godfrey Carter CBE deceased


Letters in The Times Public Agenda


2004.029 PA001L Means tested

2004.036 PA002L Teaching Aetheism


Letters on The Times Modern Times pages


2004.031 MT001L How to ditch your partner