Royal Commission on Criminal Justice: Cambridge don whose wisdom won over dissenters: Adam Sage profiles the team which carried out the largest study of criminal justice
Wednesday 07 July 1993
There were a few dissenting voices who pointed out that many of the commission's members came from within the system and wereunlikely, therefore, to put forward revolutionary proposals.
However, even the dissenters acknowledged the wisdom that lay behind the choice of Viscount Runciman of Doxford, millionaire ship owner and Cambridge don, to head the first Royal Commission since the Conservatives came to power in 1979.
An old Etonian and former Grenadier Guards officer, Lord Runciman became a sociologist and served as treasurer of the Child Poverty Action Group for more than 20 years.
The austere, bespectacled, hereditary peer is a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a former president of the General Council of British Shipping. He became chairman of the family shipping firm, Walter Runciman plc, in 1976 at a time when the industry was in decline. Fourteen years later, after an epic battle, he accepted a pounds 7-a-share takeover by a Swedish company. His business acumen was recognised with his appointment as chairman of the privately owned Andrew Weir & Co shipping company.
He married Ruth Hellmann, from a prominent liberal South African family, in 1963. They have a son and two daughters.
After Lord Runciman, the most influential member of the committee is probably Michael Zander, Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and architect of the huge Crown Court study that formed the backbone of the commission's research.
His opposition to the commission's proposal to require advance disclosure of the defence case, and his willingness to air his views in a minority report, will lend weight to those campaigning against the planned reforms.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...