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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Supreme but hip

It was good to see that the Supreme Court in London recently handed down a decision which clarifies the law relating to perils of the sea and inherent vice. It needed clarifying, and some of us had been thinking of doing it ourselves if nothing happened soon.

What is more difficult to get used to is the knowledge that the UK has a Supreme Court in the first place, or the second place for that matter. Some of us, even now, are waiting for the perils of the sea decision to go to the House of Lords. But we will have a long wait, because it is no longer the highest court of appeal in the land.

The world is changing. Just the other day the Supreme Court justices said they were happy for journalists and members of the public to tweet news of the court proceedings to their chums on the outside. It is just possible they had no idea what they were talking about.

There are few cases that would get people tweeting about shipping, where the most exciting news can be the 500th attempt of the Hoboken courts to define what constitutes a package under the Hague Rules. But it does show how the law is changing. Not so long ago, judges were expected not to know who The Beatles were. Next they will be wearing shorts.


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