Friday, 27 June 2014

Supreme Court art: piano piano

Court 1
Baldwin King and Hariette Richardson v Gershon Robertson is about a contested parcel of land. A key word is 'entail' so I've walked smack into Pride and Prejudice, which starts with one.

Mr Darcy might well have derived some of his wealth from slavery in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, today's jurisdiction for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (Court 3).

The case goes back to a will made in 1856, the year Madame Bovary was published. The plot involves testamentary disposition, adverse posession and beneficiaries. The characters are bewildering.

'The judge seems to have overlooked the evidence about Great Aunt Tilly and Jericho,' says Lord Mance. Jericho was known as Westfield John. But was he also known as Mr Robertson?


Then after a chilli salmon sandwich it's R v London Borough of Newham and another in Court 1 where counsel, well into extra time, is throwing the kitchen sink at the issues of housing, human rights and statutory interpretation. Homelessness trails its cloak through the court.

'Am I very politely being told to sit down?' enquires counsel. 'I can't resist the temptation to take you to the Slovenian nationalisation.'
'Do try,' murmurs the bench.
But we're off to Ljubljana.



The following day it's Ghany v the Attorney General and another from Trinidad and Tobago, a personal injury case about falling downstairs in a police building. I make a note to buy another pack of frozen peas for my foot which has felt as if an axe-head is buried in it ever since I tripped over a step in barristers' chambers.






On the way home, emboldened or perhaps tainted by the day's buzz about the hacking trial verdicts, I pap a passing genius. Where are my manners?

More pictures if you scroll down. All drawings are from Court 3 except the first and last.


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