Twitterati goes wild after Lord Wilson uses exclamation mark in Supreme Court judgment!

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By Thomas Connelly on

Even Lord Denning didn’t go this far


The Twittersphere is awash with outrage this afternoon after Supreme Court judge Lord Wilson used an exclamation mark in a judgment.

Jon Baines, the chairman of the National Association of Data Protection Officers, was among the first to spot the screamer in the hotly-anticipated judgment in Evans v Attorney General, sounding a “judicial exclamation mark klaxon”.

Further inspection reveals that the exclamation mark came at paragraph 168 of the lengthy Supreme Court judgment — which was released today — as part of Lord Wilson’s dissenting speech.


The use of the judicial screamer somewhat overshadowed the content of the ruling — which gives the green light to the publication of letters written by the Prince of Wales to seven government departments between 2004 and 2005 — with many prominent legal figures taking to Twitter to express their shock.

Legal blogging heavyweight Jack of Kent (AKA lawyer and journalist David Allen Green) felt compelled to offer the Supreme Court Justice some drafting advice.

Now so enraged that he had to switch to his personal account, Green went on to suggest that not even the often-outspoken law student favourite Lord Denning would stoop so low as to use an exclamation mark.

Meanwhile, One Crown Office Row barrister Adam Wagner felt further investigation was required. Is there a precedent for exclamation marks?

But what about the fascinating legal questions arising from the Attorney General’s actions in preventing the letters — dubbed the ‘black spider memos’ — from being published?

Well, nobody seemed concerned with any of that. Instead, the focus turned to forecasts about what could be next for legal judgment punctuation. Emoticons, perhaps?

Legal Cheek would be more inclined to read them if they were.

Read the judgment in full below:

UKSC 2014 0137 Judgment