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Denning, Alfred, Lord

Denning, Alfred, Lord (1899–1999). From a simple background, Denning obtained a place at Magdalen College, Oxford. After a period of service in France during 1917–18, he gained a first in mathematics but returned to Cambridge as the Eldon scholar and gained a first in law. In 1944 he was appointed a High Court judge and gradually worked his way up through the judicial ranking. In 1962 Denning became master of the rolls. He extended the limits of judicial lawmaking as he attempted to free the Court of Appeal from its obligation to follow its own decisions. His dissenting judgments brought many clashes with the House of Lords. Denning became a household name after Macmillan asked him to conduct an inquiry into the Profumo affair. Often controversial, Denning was acknowledged as perhaps the greatest judge of his age. He retired in 1982, at the age of 83, and wrote many books.

Richard A. Smith

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