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Morris Finer

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Morris Finer, 1974
Morris Finer, 1974

Sir Morris Finer QC (12 December 1917 – 14 December 1974)[1] was a British lawyer and judge.

Early life

Finer was born in Bethnal Green in London, the son of Charles Finer, a master tailor, and his wife Ray (née Topper). He was educated at Kilburn Grammar School and the London School of Economics, where he read law.[1]

He was rejected for military service during the Second World War on account of his poor eyesight, instead serving as an assistant principal in the Ministry of Health. His younger brother was the journalist Leslie Finer.

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Bethnal Green

Bethnal Green

Bethnal Green is an area in the East End of London 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Charing Cross. The area emerged from the small settlement which developed around the Green, much of which survives today as Bethnal Green Gardens, beside Cambridge Heath Road. By the 16th century the term applied to a wider rural area, the Hamlet of Bethnal Green, which subsequently became a Parish, then a Metropolitan Borough before merging with neighbouring areas to become the north-western part of the new London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

London

London

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a 50-mile (80 km) estuary down to the North Sea, and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The City of London, its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the Romans as Londinium and retains its medieval boundaries. The City of Westminster, to the west of the City of London, has for centuries hosted the national government and parliament. Since the 19th century, the name "London" has also referred to the metropolis around this core, historically split between the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent, and Hertfordshire, which since 1965 has largely comprised Greater London, which is governed by 33 local authorities and the Greater London Authority.

London School of Economics

London School of Economics

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a public research university located in London, England and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, Graham Wallas, and George Bernard Shaw, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and established its first degree courses under the auspices of the university in 1901. LSE began awarding its degrees in its own name in 2008, prior to which it awarded degrees of the University of London. It became a university in its own right within the University of London in 2022.

Leslie Finer

Leslie Finer

Leslie Finer was a British journalist and author who worked for the BBC, the Financial Times, The Observer, the New Statesman, other British news organisations, Kathimerini and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He covered news in Cyprus and Greece between 1954 and 1968. He was described by Kathimerini as one of the most respected and reliable reporters of that era. Finer was considered an expert on Greek affairs.

Career

Finer was called by Gray's Inn to the Bar in 1943, but due to the inadequacy of his earnings he also wrote leaders for the London Evening Standard. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1963 and was elected a Master of the Bench of Gray's Inn in 1971, before being made a judge the following year (1972). He received the customary knighthood on 1 March 1973.

Finer was noted for his involvement in many campaigns for social reform. In 1967, he chaired a committee on behalf of the Society for Labour Lawyers – which included Anthony Lester, Sir Geoffrey Bindman and Michael Zander – that considered improving the accessibility of the justice system by introducing a network of American-style neighbourhood law centres, staffed by trained lawyers; the resulting report was published as Justice For All in 1968. Furthermore, under Finer's chairmanship the Finer Report on One Parent Families was published in the early 1970s, and he was subsequently appointed chairman of the Royal Commission on the Press. Before it was completed, Sir Morris died of lung cancer, two days after his 57th birthday.

As a commercial lawyer, Finer was involved in several prominent cases, including acting for three of the BeatlesJohn Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr – and Apple Corps Ltd over the management of the band in 1971.

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Gray's Inn

Gray's Inn

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the bar in order to practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these inns. Located at the intersection of High Holborn and Gray's Inn Road in Central London, the Inn is a professional body and provides office and some residential accommodation for barristers. It is ruled by a governing council called "Pension," made up of the Masters of the Bench and led by the Treasurer, who is elected to serve a one-year term. The Inn is known for its gardens which have existed since at least 1597.

Bar association

Bar association

A bar association is a professional association of lawyers as generally organized in countries following the Anglo-American types of jurisprudence. The word bar is derived from the old English/European custom of using a physical railing to separate the area in which court business is done from the viewing area for the general public.

Evening Standard

Evening Standard

The Evening Standard, formerly The Standard (1827–1904), also known as the London Evening Standard, is a local free daily newspaper in London, England, published Monday to Friday in tabloid format.

Knight Bachelor

Knight Bachelor

The title of Knight Bachelor is the basic rank granted to a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not inducted as a member of one of the organised orders of chivalry; it is a part of the British honours system. Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight, but Knights Bachelor rank below knights of chivalric orders. A man who is knighted is formally addressed as "Sir [First Name] [Surname]" or "Sir [First Name]" and his wife as "Lady [Surname]".

Anthony Lester, Baron Lester of Herne Hill

Anthony Lester, Baron Lester of Herne Hill

Anthony Paul Lester, Baron Lester of Herne Hill, QC was a British barrister and member of the House of Lords. He was at different times a member of the Labour Party, Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Democrats. Lester was best known for his influence on race relations legislation in the United Kingdom and as a founder-member of groups such as the Institute of Race Relations, the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination and the Runnymede Trust. Lester was also a prominent figure in promoting birth control and abortion through the Family Planning Association, particularly in Northern Ireland. Lester resigned from the House of Lords after accusations of historic sexual harassment were made by Jasvinder Sanghera.

Geoffrey Bindman

Geoffrey Bindman

Sir Geoffrey Lionel Bindman KC (Hon) is a British solicitor specialising in human rights law, and founder of the human rights law firm Bindman & Partners. He has been Chair of the British Institute of Human Rights since 2005. He won The Law Society Gazette Centenary Award for Human Rights in 2003, and was knighted in 2007 for services to human rights. In 2011, he was appointed Queen's Counsel.

Michael Zander

Michael Zander

Michael Zander, KC, FBA, is a British legal scholar. He is Professor Emeritus of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the author of several books known to generations of lawyers and law students alike. Professor Zander was a member of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice (1991–1993). He is currently a member of the Home Office's PACE Strategy Board.

John Lennon

John Lennon

John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles. Lennon's work was characterised by the rebellious nature and acerbic wit of his music, writing and drawings, on film, and in interviews. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.

George Harrison

George Harrison

George Harrison was an English musician and singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Sometimes called "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles' work. Although the majority of the band's songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group include "Taxman", "Within You Without You", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something".

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr

Sir Richard Starkey, known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who achieved international fame as the drummer for the Beatles. Starr occasionally sang lead vocals with the group, usually for one song on each album, including "Yellow Submarine" and "With a Little Help from My Friends". He also wrote and sang the Beatles songs "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden", and is credited as a co-writer of four others.

Other activities

Finer was chairman of the Cinematograph Films Council and a governor and, later, vice chairman of the board of governors of the London School of Economics. After his death a Morris Finer Memorial Scholarship was established at the LSE in his honour.

Miscellaneous

Additional information about Finer appears in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. A painting of him by his cousin, Stephen Finer, is in the collection of Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, Sussex.

Publications

  • Report of the Committee on One-Parent Families: presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Social Services by command of Her Majesty July 1974, Volume 2. HMSO. 1974. ISBN 9780101562904.
  • Company Law (1948)
  • Justice For All (1968) Society of Labour Lawyers

Source: "Morris Finer", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_Finer.

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Notes
  1. ^ a b "FINER, Hon. Sir Morris (Hon. Mr Justice Finer)". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. Vol. 2022 (online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
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