This book is based on the 54th series of the Hamlyn Lectures presented by Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws in November 2002. In the first of the three lectures, Taking Liberties - Terrorism and the Rule of Law, Helena Kennedy QC asks whether international law, as currently framed, is adequate to deal with the new phemen of international terrorism. She examines the meaning of the Rule of Law in our modern world and asks if the climate of fear about terrorism and crime is being seized upon by government to roll back civil liberties in an unprecedented way. The second lecture, Pandora's Box - The Law and Genetics, explores the law's function in relation to the revolution in genetic science and its impact on a citizen's privacy and liberty. In her role as Chair of the Human Genetics Commission, the author examines the extent to which there should be regulation in this area of change. The last twenty years have seen a steady erosion of civil liberties culminating w in extraordinary government legislation which wholly undermines long established freedoms. The final lecture, A Benign State - A Modern Myth asks if this is a crude political response to demands for law and order, or if we are seeing a reframing of the relationship between citizens and the state. The final part of the lecture tackles the question of whether the old principles of criminal law are out of date, and whether there is a need to rebalance the criminal justice system.