Rupert Cross

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For the American film and TV actor, see Rupert Crosse.

Sir Alfred Rupert Neale Cross (15 June 1912 in Chelsea, London – 12 September 1980, Oxford) was a prominent English lawyer and academic. He was Vinerian Professor of English Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.

He was also completely blind from the age of 1, as a result of cancer of the eyes, and, before his distinguished legal career, was already well known as a chess player. As an undergraduate at Worcester College, Oxford, he represented Oxford University four times (1931–34) on the top board in the prestigious annual Varsity chess match against Cambridge University. He played several times in the top section of the British Chess Championship in the 1930s (for which only an elite group of twelve players qualified).


His best-known work is probably Cross on Evidence, first published in 1959. In 1976 Cross published Statutory Interpretation. This book has been sufficiently well regarded that two posthumous editions have been produced, under the editorship of John Bell and George Engle. In recognition of Cross's great prestige, his name has remained in the predominant spot on the title page.

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Academic offices
Preceded by
Harold Hanbury
Vinerian Professor of English Law
Succeeded by
Guenter Treitel