Lord Neuberger (pictured) has been racking up the air miles lately. Last week saw the president of the Supreme Court giving a speech in Hong Kong on the importance of open justice to the former colony’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club. After musing on the importance of judicial independence – quite a hot topic in the territory – Neuberger turned his thoughts to televising the courts, noting how ‘impressive’ he found the filming of the trial of Oscar Pistorius in South Africa.
Open justice, he continued, is not just a matter of being seen on TV. It is, he said, a ‘formidable task even for experienced lawyers to read through and understand a difficult Supreme Court decision running to hundreds of paragraphs, with a number of conflicting or subtly different judgments’. He reflected how he has found himself ‘losing the will to live’ when reading judgments, a particularly disturbing event, he said, when he realised it was a judgment of his own that was prompting his thoughts of heaven.
Maybe as the new legal term starts, Neuberger will take his words to heart and make his judgments ‘as comprehensible as possible’.