Judging? Poetry, innit

Sir Alan Ward  has signed of his “penultimate judgment in the Court of Appeal” with some rather poetic prose; so poetic in fact, I could not resist the urge to put in line breaks. The two key passages of the appeal, which carry some pathos are here.  After underlining that the appellant must lose, he continued…

But all of that is of no moment.
He had indicated that he was soon to move
and he has moved from the mooring.
He has thrown off the bow lines
and sailed away from the safe harbour
though whether to catch
the trade winds in his sails
or just withstand the buffetings
of the gales in the English Channel
I know not.

After underlining that this is his penultimate judgment after 18 years in the Court of Appeal, he continues:

I am a kindred spirit
who has sailed away from the safe harbour
of the Royal Courts of Justice,
not at all sure how to explore,
or what to dream
or what I am about to discover.

I wonder if his final judgment is written. Perhaps a judgment in blank verse beckons.

(HT Adam Wagner and Andrew Keogh for spotting this)


About Richard Moorhead

Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law and Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at the Faculty of Laws, University College London with an interest in teaching and research on the legal ethics, the professions, legal aid, access to justice and the courts.
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3 Responses to Judging? Poetry, innit

  1. Delightful! Not merely blank verse – arrange the lines suitably, and it even rhymes. We can only hope that the Court of Appeal’s loss is operetta’s gain.

  2. jtownend says:

    Just wonderful. The quote he is inspired by in the Appellant’s written submission (par 4) is attributed to Mark Twain:

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    Wikiquote [http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mark_Twain] seems unsure of the origin – I wonder if a Twain scholar might drop by and let us know either way…

  3. Catherine Rowlands (@cjr1968) says:

    According to Quote Investigatorit was H Jackson Brown Jr, or rather his dear old Mom http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/09/29/you-did/.

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