Court Of Appeal Judge’s Determination To Get His Best Lines In Before Retirement

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By Tom Webb on

Fresh from coming up with perhaps the most tortuous equine metaphor ever, soon-to-retire judge Sir Alan Ward has used his penultimate judgment to deliver a wistful nautical-themed allegory about departing the Royal Courts of Justice. Paragraph 30 of Reeves v Randy Northrop – an appeal of a houseboat mooring dispute – is transcribed in full below…

“I am afraid, therefore, that Randy Northrop must lose and the appeal must be dismissed. I have a sneaking sympathy for him because he did not use many of the services which council tax is supposed to provide and it may have been harsh to list him in band A. 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. In as much as this is the penultimate judgment I shall write after 18 years in the Court of Appeal, 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.”

The full case report, which was first spotted by CrimeLine on Twitter and also contains a memorable rant about incomprehensible legislation, is here. We await Sir Alan’s final judgment with anticipation.