We are dreadfully sorry to hear of the death of Mike Redmayne, Professor of Law at the London School of Economics, as announced yesterday.
The importance of Mike’s scholarship – not least his last book, Character in the Criminal Trial, published only a few months ago – is well known, and we cannot do it justice in a short blog post. What we can mention, from our perspective north of the Border, is that, unusually for an academic lawyer outside of Scotland, he had a keen awareness of the Scots law relevant to his areas of interest. His essay on “Corroboration and Sexual Offences” (2006 JR 309), a piece far better informed and more insightful than most writing on the subject by Scots lawyers, is essential reading for anyone interested in the subject, while he intervened influentially in response to the Scottish Law Commission’s 2010 Discussion Paper on Similar Fact Evidence and the Moorov doctrine. He assisted in the establishment of the annual Gerald Gordon Seminar in Criminal Law – the seventh of those seminars takes place today – writing a supportive reference in favour of the Festschrift proposal which accompanied the first seminar, and then speaking at the 2012 seminar.
Both of us owe an enormous personal debt to Mike, whose generous assistance and wise advice we benefited from on multiple occasions, in establishing our own academic careers. One example from many may be mentioned, particularly as Mike’s contribution here is not otherwise recorded anywhere. It was at Mike’s instigation that we were commissioned by the Modern Law Review to write an article on Lord Carloway’s review of Scottish criminal procedure, a task which we would have been unlikely to undertake otherwise. We did not recognise at the time what an important outlet the MLR would be for our concerns about that report. We certainly did not foresee how Christine Grahame, as convenor of the Justice Committee, would brandish the article when interrogating Lord Carloway on his proposals, or how we would field phone calls from journalists on its contents. Mike’s intervention raised the profile of the debate and contributed directly to Lord Bonomy’s Post-Corroboration Safeguards Review being established, a review process where he himself offered invaluable advice both by email and at a Cambridge seminar last year.
His death is a huge loss to scholarship and to the academic and wider legal community and we will miss him greatly, both personally and professionally.