Bizarre

2,000 law students urge judges to get to the point

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19

Dispatches from legal Facebook-land

A recent throwaway post on Legal Cheek‘s Facebook page — featuring, it should be noted, the incorrect spelling of “judgment” — has so far hauled in almost 2,000 likes and nearly 200 shares, while drawing 181 comments.

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The conclusion from this: law students up and down the country desperately want members of the judiciary to get to the point. The matter has even spilled over onto Twitter, where one law student revealed her dream.

Now judges — and we know you’re reading in the Supreme Court — if you’re in agreement, please don’t proceed to write a 50-page reasoning about your views on the matter.

19 Comments

Not Amused

Out of the mouths of babes …

(5)(2)

Solicitor Avacado

I wonder how many judgements you actually read Not Amused.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

NA is far too busy commenting on this site to do any work

(8)(2)

ALC

No chance of Lady Hale doing this. Definitely not if she can see a bit of opening to tell us about her ridiculous, feminist point of view.

(8)(25)

Anonymous

And even with all that, she’s still smarter than you.

(19)(4)

Anonymous

Regardless of how you feel about her point of view, surely bad form to conflate ridiculous and feminist? I mean, how dare we women ever be upset that our gender is considered more noteworthy than our ability, right?

(11)(3)

Anonymous

ALC, you cretin
Lady Hale often provides the most useful and understanding comments, even in dissenting judgement

(1)(0)

Optional

Other than family, trust and HR matters, the judge that provides the most useful and understanding comments has to be Lord Neuberger.

(0)(0)

Solicitor Avacado

As a lawyer who actually READS judgements, you do eventually get the hang of it until something like Tigere comes along. It is one of those cases where despite my absolute adoration of Hale and Kerr I cannot find the basis for their decision. I agree with the principle but Sumption (I am not a huge fan) is correct in his analysis that it is not manifested in any basis of law that we currently hold. In that case the Supreme Court was in effect a first instance court and just wanted to give the applicant her relief despite not having a real basis to grant it. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is the right outcome but from a legal perspective it is odd.

(4)(6)

Anonymous

I’ll bet you’re a treat at parties.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Judgment, not judgement.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Why? Either is correct according to any dictionary I’ve seen.

(1)(1)

Optional

Judgments are decisions made by judges. Judgement is what pretentious people like Simon Cowell deliver.

(1)(0)

Tony

Didn’t fancy reading the article then?

(1)(0)

Meh

This may be true for undergraduate law students but those who go on to study it at a Master’s or PhD level (or beyond) will likely agree that contravening reasons for judgments, especially when in agreement (see Pham v Home Dept [2015] for an example) makes the law far more rich an interesting. It is also what ensures our legal system is one of the best, instead of this blind agreement we need to find good justifications for changes in law.

(3)(5)

Rufus Obscurus

This post which is the topic of this article does no more and no less than express sentiments articulated by Lord Neuberger PSC in this speech: https://www.supremecourt.uk/docs/speech-121120.pdf

I am at the Bar and I have a mixed civil and criminal practice. I am in agreement with both Lord Neuberger and the person who posted the original captioned image. I have been the captive audience of a number of judgments in the High Court and Court of Appeal in recent years which simply recite, without a great deal of summarising, the cases of both parties as they appeared in skeleton arguments (no matter how they developed in oral argument), plod ponderously through the reported cases with lengthy citations, and then reach a conclusion with scant reasoning or justification.

The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) is particularly guilty of this style of judgment.

Anyone who has had cause to read some of the older 19th Century law reports from Common Pleas or King’s Bench will be struck by the brevity and clarity with which the judges of those days articulated their conclusions. There is far too much cutting-and-pasting in many modern judgments of the High Court and Court of Appeal and I think that the approach advocated by Lord Neuberger – get to the point at the beginning (which is, after all, what we are continually told to do in our skeleton arguments and written submissions) – could usefully be adopted by most judges of the superior courts.

(1)(0)

Not Amused

Yes, I think that you must be right.

What I think we need is a sort of grass roots “save the trees” campaign. Their lords and ladyships won’t do this of their own volition. But if we tell then that by cutting a mere 10 paragraphs they save a tree every month then perhaps they may listen.

(0)(0)

Wannabe

As much as I like an ‘I agree’ it doesn’t half look like a slack off.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Come back Lord Denning, all is forgiven.

(0)(0)

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