Campbell, John

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Campbell, John

John Campbell, also known as First Baron Campbell, was born September 15, 1779, in Scotland. He was admitted to the bar in 1806 and pursued a career in British law and politics.

In 1830, Campbell entered Parliament and advocated legal reforms in real property and local government. Two years later he served as Solicitor General, and from 1834 to 1841, he was attorney general. In 1850 he performed the duties of Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench and in 1859 became Lord Chancellor.

Campbell is credited with the passage of three important pieces of legislation: the libel Act, in 1843; the Copyright Act, in 1846; and the Obscene Publications Act, in 1857.

As an author, Campbell is famous for Lives of the Lord Chancellors, published from 1845 to 1847, and for Lives of the Chief Justices, published from 1849 to 1857.

Campbell died June 23, 1861, in London, England.

"The Supreme Court IS A VENERABLE TRIBUNAL THAT DESERVES WELL OF THE COUNTRY. It ought not … be affected by revolutionary politics and I shall take care that through me this shall not be done."
—John Campbell

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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