It may be unorthodox for the prefatory remarks to a jointly edited volume to come from the pen (well, word-processor) of only one of the editors, but this way of proceeding enables me to identify the respective roles of the editors, and to acknowledge the enormous input of my co-editor.
The work began its life as a seminar series held in Cambridge throughout the calendar year 1994. It seemed to me that with the arrival in Cambridge of Andrews von Hirsch and Simester, we had the nucleus of a discussion group, at which like-minded colleagues could meet to discuss their joint interests, and possibly to present papers on their current work. Colleagues from other centres were invited to join us, and papers were presented on Friday afternoons. Initially, there was no thought that the papers should be published by us and indeed one of the papers ( John Gardner's) was separately published by the Cambridge Law Journal.
It soon became apparent, though, that essays were being put together which ought to see the light of day, and that there was a sufficient number of recurring themes and threads that they might constitute a single volume. Thus we approached the publishers with a tentative proposal. Richard Hart proved to be his usual encouraging self, and with his backing (and that of the Oxford University Press Syndicate), we were able to begin phase two of the project, which was to weld what had been somewhat disparate contributions into a more coherent whole. A two-day conference/seminar was held in Caius in December 1994, at which all of the papers were re-presented by their authors (some having been rewritten in the light of comments made at their first airing), and an editorial paper highlighting the editorial themes was given for the first time. The authors then dispersed with the task of rewriting in the light of the editorial introduction, and of discussions with the editors and the other paper presenters.
I have to say that the bulk of the editorial work has fallen upon Andrew Simester. Because of my other commitments, I was unable to devote as much time as I should have wished to taking the project forward, and he played very much the leading part in writing the editorial introduction (mine being the revising hand). He also bore the major burden of making comments on the papers as they were revised and sent to the editors.
Caius College was not merely the place where the papers were presented; it also generously made available both facilities and funding for the conference. The contributors have been quite remarkably conscientious both in their willingness to rewrite and revise, and in sticking to the tight schedules