Friday, 6 November 2009

Too many law reports

I have been looking at the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting website, as good a way to pass some time as any other ... and chatting to Charon QC this morning on the phone I recalled something that I thought I had read on a page on that site: "The almost universal view among judges in England is that too much, rather than too little, is reported."

I find this when I look at the reports pouring out of the Patents Court and elsewhere and appearing on BAILII. To make matters worse, they often run to hundreds of paragraphs these days - and you plough through them - or even just jump to the end - only to discover that there isn't anything important in them. OK, you might have picked up a few useful bits of trivia about recombinant DNA or potato separators along the way, but nuggets of law were what you really wanted. Maybe I should confine myself to reading Court of Appeal judgments in future? But a diet of nothing but Jacob LJ might be a bit too rich, albeit simultaneously enlightening and entertaining.

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