The late Tom Bingham awarded Orwell Prize

The late lord chief justice Tom Bingham has been awarded the Orwell Prize for political writing for his book The Rule of Law (Penguin). Bingham, a former master of the rolls, lord chief justice, and senior law lord, died in September 2010. His award was presented to Lady Bingham of Cornhill yesterday evening (17th May).

The judges, who this year comprised broadcaster Jim Naughtie, founder director of Virago Press Ursula Owen and Observer books editor Will Skidelsky, said: “All the judges felt that The Rule of Law was a book for our times: incisive, wise and clear. It is a book that is needed, and it is thrilling to reward a book about the law that isn't for lawyers.

“It addresses the questions of freedom and order that are not only at the heart of our national debate, but touch on the upheavals around the world. And freedom and order are, of course, central to Orwell's own work.”

The winners of the book, journalism and blog prizes each received £3,000 prize money and a plaque bearing Orwell's ambition: "what I have most wanted to do… is to make political writing into an art".