27 April 2006

Copyright - The Da Vinci Code: ho ho!

According to the BBC website, the Honourable Mr Justice Peter Smith has brought a touch of levity to the Da Vinci Code case - as if that case needed it (see "Copyright: "Da Vinci Code Case" - No Surprises"). His lordship has apparently hidden his own secret code in his judgment:

"Seemingly random italicised letters were included in the 71-page judgement given by Mr Justice Peter Smith, which apparently spell out a message."

The learned judge is quoted as saying:
"I can't discuss the judgement, but I don't see why a judgement should not be a matter of fun."

Quite so! A sense of humour is a very good thing in a judge (see "Dispute Resolution: Judicial Humour from across the Pond"). A pretty good repository of it (proving that the words "American humour" are not quite an oxymoron) is "The Green Bag". I may not agree with Mr Justice Scalia's politics but I do like his wit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The great difficulty with Mr Justice Peter Smith, as anyone who has appeared in front of him will know, is that he is arrogant, self-opiniated and leaps to conclusions.

His work is sloppy - see for example the fact that the "Smithy Code" he inserted in the "Da Vinci Code" judgment in fact contains a basic spelling error.

He is intolerant of other view points and like many of us thinks that he is far more intelligent than he actually is. It is no accident that in some years he has been voted "Worst Judge of the Year". He clearly greatly enjoys his work and his heart is probably in the right place it is a pity that his brain is not.

He also considers himself to be a great amateur historian and in particular a military historian having an obsession with Admiral Fisher. Fisher, it will be remembered was responsible for the design of battle cruisers (like HMS Hood) all of which had a fatal design defect causing them to blow up if hit by one or two shells. Smith is not a good historian - his ideas are drawn from superficial reading and result in a passing and apparently convincinng acquaintance with the relevant facts and concepts. For those who read his judgments this is a understandable.

Very much like appearing in his lordship's Court.