Shirley was incapable of preconceptions. It was perhaps her only incapability. Whether you were a learned professor of political theory, a longstanding cabinet minister, or an eager, awestruck undergraduate, she wanted to talk politics without assumptions or prejudices.
The British Government has often had a hazy relationship with international law. Indeed their behaviour in the mid-2000s could be characterised as part of the Captain Barbosa-ification of the norms of international law: that is to say that they are ‘more like guidelines’.