I am sad to report that Professor Brian Simpson has passed away yesterday, 10 January 2011, at his home in Sandwich, Kent. He was possessed of a truly unique erudition, coupled with a superb wit and sense of humour; his scholarship never failed to impress. It is in particular his work as a legal historian which was without peer, making an impact even on courts dealing with oh-so-modern issues like detention in the ‘war on terror'; his magisterial In the Highest Degree Odious: Detention Without Trial in Wartime Britain (Clarendon Press, 1992) was cited both by the House of Lords and the US Supreme Court. And even on this sad occasion the first two pages of his Human Rights and the End of Empire (OUP, 2004) cannot but make me laugh out loud. Brian and his laughter will be sorely missed; our condolences go to his family.