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Law

Law at All Souls has a long and distinguished history. The College’s Founder, Archbishop Chichele, intended some of the College's fellowships to support those studying canon and civil law. In 1753, William Blackstone gave the first Oxford lectures on the common law while a Fellow of the College, and in 1758 he became the first Vinerian Professor of the Common Law. In 1877, the post was renamed to its current title, the Vinerian Professor of English law.

The Fellowship has included numerous eminent academic and practising lawyers. Notable academics include AV Dicey, Sir William Holdsworth, David Daube, and Sir Humphrey Waldock; Lord Wilberforce and Lord Radcliffe are two of a number of Fellows to have held judicial office. Today the College has a large number of Fellows and Visiting Fellows who engage in legal research and practice in diverse fields. The College also provides Fellowships to the following University post holders: the Regius Professor of civil law, the Vinerian Professor of English law, the Chichele Professor of Public International law, and the Professor of Criminology. Lectures and seminars on a variety of legal topics are frequently held. A notable example is the annual lecture in celebration of the past Wardenship of Lord Neill of Bladen, which has been delivered by a number of the Justices of the United Kingdom Supreme Court.

The Codrington Library's collection of case and statute reports, monographs, periodicals, and textbooks is housed in the Anson Room. The library holds a particularly impressive collection of legal works on civil and common law of the 16th-18th century. The library makes every effort to stay up to date and welcomes students and scholars alike.