Rozenberg, Joshua 1950-

views updated

ROZENBERG, Joshua 1950-

PERSONAL: Born May 30, 1950; son of Zigmund and Beatrice Doris (Davies) Rozenberg; married, March 31, 1974; wife's name, Melanie; children: one son, one daughter. Education: Wadham College, Oxford, M.A.

ADDRESSES: Offıce—Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, Telegraph Group Limited, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DT, England. E-mail— [email protected].

CAREER: Author, journalist, and legal correspondent. British Broadcasting Corporation, London, England, journalist, 1975, legal affairs correspondent, 1985-97, legal and constitutional affairs correspondent, 1997-2000; Daily Telegraph, London, legal editor, 2000—. Has worked in Britain as a solicitor.

MEMBER: Garrick Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: University of Hertfordshire, honorary LL.D., 1999; Legal Journalist of the Year award, Bar Council, 2001; Gray's Inn, honorary bencher, 2003.


(With Nicola Watkins) Your Rights and the Law, Dent (London, England), 1986.

The Case for the Crown: The Inside Story of the Director of Public Prosecutions, foreword by Sir Michael Havers, Equation (Wellingborough, England), 1987.

The Search for Justice: An Anatomy of the Law, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1994.

Trial of Strength: The Battle between Ministers andJudges over Who Makes the Law, Richard Cohen Books (London, England), 1998.

Privacy and the Press, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Journalist, legal correspondent, and legal editor Joshua Rozenberg is an expert on British law and the British legal system. As a legal correspondent for the BBC and legal editor for the Daily Telegraph, he has written and reported on all levels of Britain's laws and the way such laws are applied and, in some cases, misapplied.

"Much of Britain's legal system should inspire anger and contempt," stated a reviewer in Economist. In The Search for Justice: An Anatomy of the Law, Rozenberg examines the obsolete procedures, outmoded traditions, and sometimes outlandish waste and excess still found within the British judicial system. Miscarriages of justices abound, and blatantly racist and biased judges still sit unimpeded on the bench, according to Rozenberg. Arcane rules control the selection of mostly male judges. It is nearly impossible to remove incompetent or infirm judges, and judges schedule cases at their whim, often sidelining lawyers for hours at a time while they rack up their fees sitting in a corridor waiting for a hearing or trial to start. Though some small steps are being made to change the hidebound system, "Reform of centuries old legal institutions, as Mr. Rozenberg shows, takes place at a geriatric pace," commented the Economist reviewer. Rozenberg's text suggests that, rather than upholding and fairly applying the law, "judges' main political concern has been themselves and their former colleagues at the Bar," noted Conor Gearty in New Statesman. The Economist reviewer stated that Rozenberg's argument is weakened by a lack of thesis and the author's coverage of both sides of the issues. However, Gearty commented that "Rozenberg's book is a very good account of contemporary debates in the legal world. His chapters on recent fiascos in sentencing and miscarriages of justice are excellent."

Trial of Strength: The Battle between Ministers and Judges over Who Makes the Law chronicles the British constitutional and governmental changes instituted by the Labour party toward the end of the 1990s. Rozenberg examines the meaning of the reforms and how they stand to affect the governing of Britain and the lives of the country's citizens. He discusses how the ad hoc change in the British constitution could lead to increased conflict between government officials and senior judges. Rozenberg "provides a clear, thoughtful account of the resulting battles between judges and government ministers," noted a reviewer in Economist, "although he seems as puzzled as anybody about where this battle will lead" and how it will ensure, among other things, the establishment of a British bill of rights by adapting the European Convention of Human Rights into British domestic law.

In Privacy and the Press Rozenberg "writes for the nonspecialist and addresses important issues in the debate about privacy on the one hand, and freedom of expression on the other, which seem so often to get lost in the tangled world of celebrity," remarked Anna Ford in the New Statesman. Rozenberg addresses questions such as what types and levels of privacy are citizens and celebrities entitled to; whether Britain needs a privacy law to protect the private lives of celebrities and public figures; and whether the names of sex offenders and killers should be published in newspapers. He analyzes a number of important legal cases that have helped turn opinion in favor of a privacy law, but he also "shines a clear and welcome light through the undergrowth of legal concepts and principles," Ford noted, citing Rozenberg's discussion of the Human Rights Act that established a right to privacy in Britain in 1998, and concepts of openness and accountability in government that inform the debate on privacy laws in Britain." Rozenberg has written a clear, accessible, sometimes waspish account for a more general reader," observed Alan Rusbridger in the Manchester Guardian. "This debate can only really be understood in a legal context," Ford concluded, "to which this book provides a clear and valuable guide."



Economist, June 4, 1994, review of The Search forJustice: An Anatomy of the Law, p. 92; July 19, 1997, review of Trial of Strength: The Battle between Ministers and Judges over Who Makes the Law, section S, p. 9.

Guardian (Manchester, England), March 27, 2004, Alan Rusbridger, "The Fame Game," review of Privacy and the Law, p. 11.

New Statesman, May 6, 1994, Conor Gearty, review of The Search for Justice: An Anatomy of the Law, p. 39; May 3, 2004, Anna Ford, "When It's Not OK!," review of Privacy and the Press, p. 42.*