Auntie’s man Rozenberg and former AG Goldsmith bag ULaw honorary doctorates

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By Judge John Hack on

Law in Action broadcaster picks up fourth honour, while the man at the centre of the row over tbe legality of the Iraq war joins him in University of Law’s hall of fame


With apologies to that chap from Stratford (not east London), some are born to the law, some achieve greatness in the law, and some have legal profession greatness thrust upon them.

The ubiquitous Joshua Rozenberg — Britain’s self-proclaimed “best-known commentator on the law” — certainly is in the running for the last category. He’s just picked up his fourth –- yes, fourth — honorary doctorate, with this one coming from the University of Law.

The University of Hertfordshire was the first academic institution to recognise the man who launched the BBC’s Law in Action programme 30 years ago, when it chucked him an honorary doctorate in law in 1999. There was then a 13-year drought until Nottingham Trent University coughed up in 2012, followed this year by the University of Lincoln and ULaw.

Rozenberg — who is on his second stint of presenting Law in Action as well as writing columns for The Guardian newspaper and The Law Gazette — took to The Twitter to announce the ULaw honour.

When Legal Cheek’s managing editor, Alex Aldridge, responded by asking whether he too could be in line for a similar honour (we’re thinking the University of Neasden’s law school might be a runner), Rozenberg pointed out that four wasn’t such a remarkable total. “Others have many more,” he tweeted.

Joining Rozenberg in scooping a ULaw honour was Lord Peter Goldsmith QC. The former Bar Council Chairman was Attorney General in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government between 2001 and 2007. He achieved notoriety over his advice to ministers regarding the second Gulf war and allegations that he had been pressured to conclude that invading Iraq was legal under international law. So far, it appears that Lord Goldsmith has yet to join the Twitter craze.

Doling out the honorary doctorates, ULaw’s chief executive John Latham said:

“The honours to Peter Goldsmith and Joshua Rozenberg recognise the significant contributions made by both to the legal landscape of this country in recent decades.

“The enormous breadth and variety of Peter Goldsmith’s career must rightly serve as an inspiration to all young lawyers and Joshua Rozenberg might fairly be said to be the journalist who has made law, not merely accessible to the lay audience — but also exciting and relevant.”

They join an impressive list of legal profession stars in bagging ULaw honours, including Lord Neuberger, former Master of the Rolls and current Supreme Court President, Shami Chakrabarti, director of campaigning group Liberty, Lady Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, and Fiona Woolf, former Lord Mayor of London and current Chancellor of ULaw.