The Putney Debates 2019

The Courts: Friend or Foe?

1314 March 2019

St Mary's Church, Putney

Catch Up Now:

Session I: What Is Judicial Independence and Why Is It Important? 


Session II: Is Judicial Independence Under Attack? If So, How - and Why?


Session III: How Can We Defend Judicial Independence? 



Joshua Rozenberg
Joshua Rozenberg
Putney Debate chairperson and legal commentator
Andrea Coomber
Andrea Coomber
Director at JUSTICE, the all-party law reform and human rights organisation
Justice Robert J Sharpe
Robert J Sharpe
Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario
St Mary's Church, Putney
The Putney Debates 2019
Join us at historic St Mary's Church Putney

St Mary's Church is the site of the original Putney Debates, the first debates about the nature of democracy in England. Here, 370 years ago, with England in the throes of civil war, civilians and ordinary soldiers in the New Model Army met to discuss the constitution and the future of the country.


Tony Benn
Every generation has to fight the same battle again & again: there is no destination called democracy. That’s the interest of the Putney Debates.
Watch Tony Benn on why the Putney Debates matter today

Stained Glass Window

St Mary's Church is next to the river at the southern end of Putney Bridge. It is in a controlled parking zone, so we recommend you come by public transport.

Putney is very well-served by buses, tubes, and the rail network.

Map: St Mary's Church, Putney High Street, London SW15 1SN

Find out more about this historic venue and how to get here

The Putney Debates
Britain's constitutional origins
What were the Putney Debates?

Discover how a group of liberal radicals challenged the existing order through an extraordinary series of debates that paved the way for many of the civil liberties we value today.

Thomas Rainsborough
I think that the poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he.