Review of Neil Duxbury, Viscount Kilmuir: A Vignette, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2015, 135 + ix, hb £25.00.
Anthony Sampson once wrote of David Maxwell Fyfe – who, on becoming Lord Chancellor in 1954, was styled Viscount Kilmuir – that he was amiable, but had a 'second-rate brain', and worked hard. In his Viscount Kilmuir: A Vignette, Neil Duxbury tells us that Maxwell Fyfe would have agreed with Sampson's assessment of his abilities and approach to his work. While this may make him seem 'humdrum', Maxwell Fyfe undoubtedly had historical significance, not least as one of the 'three main authors' of the European Convention on Human Rights. Ultimately, his life throws important lights on law as a politico-legal institution.