Monday, 13 September 2010

RIP Tom Bingham

Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Judges held in high affection across the broadsheet reading public are rare as hen's teeth. Tom Bingham, like Tom Denning before him, was one. An independent judiciary is our last safeguard against government tyranny, and the strength and carry of Bingham's voice was far more important than whether you agreed or not with his individual judgements.

It's rare that a post gives me the opportunity of quoting one of Tom Denning's judgement openings, but here's one. Enjoy.
In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last 70 years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short. It has a good club house for the players and seats for the onlookers. The village team play there on Saturdays and Sundays. They belong to a league, competing with the neighbouring villages. On other evenings after work they practise while the light lasts. Yet now after these 70 years a judge of the High Court has ordered that they must not play there any more. He has issued an injunction to stop them. He has done it at the instance of a newcomer who is no lover of cricket.

1 comment:

measured said...

I wholly agree with your sentiments and this post deserves a comment. Lord Denning drafted many fine judgements (or judgments), and is renowned for finding ways of achieving natural justice despite that course being dictated by the written word of the law. However, this extract is from one Judgement that faced rare criticism since his Lordship expresses a view that is uncomfortably subjective, albeit his head is still ruled his heart. I suspect you, like him, enjoy cricket and admire the sentiments he expressed. :-)