The act of vandalism to take place at Inner Temple library: Part One


17th July 2017

This is first of three posts about an act of vandalism.  (The second post will be posted shortly.)

The act of vandalism has not happened yet, though it is expected to happen. Nothing, it seems, can stop it.

The target of the vandalism is a law library: the library of the Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court.

You may not care about law libraries.  But whatever your view, please take a moment to read about this act of impending vandalism.  It has, as I set out below, wider significance.


A library is not just an accumulation of books and book-like things.  Books and bookshelves are crucial, of course.  But a library is more than a depository.

The library of the Inner Temple happens to be a purpose-built law library.

This means that regard was made not only to bookshelves and tables.

The lighting, the acoustics, the use of space are all perfect.

Just as a  great theatre is not just a stage in a room, a great library is not just some books in a bookcase.

The library of the Inner Temple is as good a law library as it is possible for a law library to be.

Here are some pictures.









It is an extraordinary and wonderful place for any lawyer, from a student to a QC, to work.

There is no better place in England to research a legal point.

In my next post I will set out what is going to happen to it, and why it is wrong.


I have an interest in this: I practice as a lawyer in Inner Temple (I work as a lawyer as well as a writer) though this post represents only my own personal view and not that of the firm where I am a consultant.

Parts of this post were previously at my post here on law libraries.

2 thoughts on “The act of vandalism to take place at Inner Temple library: Part One”

  1. The loss of any library is truly shocking. We lost our village library when I lived in Puddletown and ran it with 40 volunteers and offered longer opening hours and a better service than Dorset County Library Service had offered. I now live in Toronto where we have 100 libraries with books in 40 different languages in this world class city.

  2. Thanks for once again raising the question of the Inner Temple library.

    If I, so far removed from the British legal world – a mere occasional social activist, working on the David Dunlap Observatory and Park heritage-conservation case way out here in Ontario, and in any event anchored less in Britain than in the Estonian diaspora – can find the question gripping, how much more will it now be stirring the minds of real British lawyers?

    I do note that you have a broken link at, in the slab of text which reads “Last Monday, the chair of the Criminal Bar Association linked to an extraordinary document. You should click into it to: it is here. ” (The broken hyperlink is in the word “here”.)


    Toomas Karmo (=

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