The plight of the county court is not a subject that tends to exercise our parliamentarians, so we salute one lawyer’s attempt to explain it through a classic movie comparison.

Emily Giles, a housing lawyer with the Hyde Group, faced MPs on the justice committee last week and tried to put across the frustrations of continuing to work in a largely paper-based system.

Giles referenced the lawyer and commentator David Allen Green who had described the elaborate system as like something from Wallace & Gromit, but Giles had her own film reference point.

‘I would suggest another example: if you have ever seen the Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, there is a bit at the end where the ark has been put into a crate and you see someone wheeling it into a storage facility; then the camera pans back and it gets bigger and bigger,’ she said.

Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Source: Atlaspix/Alamy

‘That is what I think the court filing system is like. That is the impression we get. There are mountains of paperwork among which are our pleadings, our applications, our trial bundles, and our witness statements, which very often are missing when we turn up at court to proceed with the hearings.’

Obiter is taken by the image of counsel turning up to court with a fedora and a whip, Indiana-style, and certainly his character likes a tight deadline (usually when a temple door is about the close). If anyone has any more films that capture the state of our courts estate, send your suggestions to