In the realm of jurisprudence, where the law’s labyrinthine corridors intertwine with the corridors of power, there unfolds a saga that speaks of the timeless tussle between legal logic and the ever-elusive whispers of justice. The protagonist of our tale, Senior Counsel, a man of eloquence and legal prowess, embarked on a journey into the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court. With each carefully chosen word and artful citation, he sought to craft a submission that would leave an indelible mark on the tapestry of legal discourse.
John Mortimer once referred to Lord Denning (Baron Denning) as the “St George of the Law Courts” an there is a reason why. Lord Denning himself wrote, “I try to make my judgments live…
I start my judgment, as it were with a prologue – as the chorus does in one of Shakespeare’s plays – to introduce the story. Then I go from act to act as Shakespeare does – each with its scenes drawn from real life…
It is no good if the hearer cannot follow them…I know that people are prone not to accept my view unless they have support in the books.
But never at much length. I finish with a conclusion – an epilogue – again as the chorus does in Shakespeare. In it, I gather the threads together and give the result.”
This philosophy of Lord Denning, resonating like an undercurrent, finds itself woven into the very fabric of the legal landscape that Senior Counsel navigates. It’s as if the spirit of ‘making judgments live’ guided his every word, infusing his submissions with the vibrancy and clarity that Lord Denning advocated.
As the day of reckoning drew near, he found himself immersed in sleepless nights, poring over legal tomes and precedents, each page a puzzle piece he meticulously fit into his argument. His determination was a beacon, and the intensity of his preparation was fueled by the gravity of the matter at hand. The intricacies of the case weighed on his mind like a ceaseless symphony, demanding his attention even in the stillness of the night.
When the fateful day finally arrived, he walked the corridors of the Supreme Court with a demeanor that mirrored the gravity of his task. The polished floors seemed to echo with the footsteps of generations of lawyers who had traversed this path before him. He moved with measured steps, the weight of the case etched in the furrows of his brow.
By his side walked his diligent pupil, a young legal mind eager to observe the artistry of a seasoned advocate. The pupil carried his suitcase, laden with the pleadings that would soon echo through the hallowed courtroom. It was a sight that seemed to bridge the gap between generations, the old and the
new, each step an embodiment of the passage of legal knowledge and tradition.
As the appointed hour drew closer, he found himself standing at the precipice of the courtroom, his heart pounding in rhythm with the echoes of his footsteps. The courtroom doors, like sentinels guarding the realm of justice, beckoned him forward. With a steadying breath, he crossed the threshold, entering a world where legal arguments held the power to shape destinies.
As tradition dictates he was the first person to speak, his name was called, a resonant note that cut through the hushed anticipation of the courtroom. He walked towards the Bar, the eyes of the legal fraternity fixed upon him, an audience that sought not only eloquence but the essence of justice itself. His
fingers brushed against the pages of his submissions, his lifeline to the words he had so meticulously woven.
And then, with the eyes of justices upon him, Senior Counsel cleared his throat, a simple gesture that held the weight of centuries of legal tradition. In that moment, the courtroom seemed to hold its breath, awaiting the cascade of words that would flow from his lips. With clarity born of conviction, he began to weave his argument, invoking precedents, principles, and the echoes of legal luminaries who had come before him.
As he embarked on his oratory journey, he couldn’t help but notice a mischievous glint in the eyes of a senior judge. He was struck by the sudden realization that he was in the presence of not just learned minds, but individuals with a flair for wit. A playful smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he imagined the justices as characters in a legal comedy, each with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies.
As he wove his legal narrative, his subtle humor began to emerge, drawing chuckles from the courtroom. A well-timed anecdote here, a witty reference there – he had managed to infuse a touch of levity into his otherwise weighty discourse. It was as if the echoes of Lord Denning’s philosophy were accompanied by a subtle symphony of laughter, a reminder that even in the gravest of matters, a touch of humor can illuminate the path of reason.
And so, with humor and eloquence intertwined, he continued to present his case. His submission was a tapestry woven not only with threads of reason but also with the stitches of lightheartedness. The air itself seemed to hum with the weight of his words, and the audience was held in rapt attention, as if they were witnessing a symphony of intellect, eloquence, and unexpected wit.
In his submission, he constructed a bastion of legal rationale, each stone of precedent meticulously laid upon the foundations of constitutional protection. The courtroom audience, entranced by his eloquence, found themselves swayed by the torrent of logic that cascaded from his lips. A riveting performance, a tour de force of advocacy; the courtroom was left in a state of anticipatory suspense, akin to an audience watching the protagonist of a gripping drama about to unravel the climax.
Then came the date for Judgement, two months later, when he returned to the Supreme Court, his preparations honed to perfection, ready to secure a victory that seemed all but certain. However, as the judgment was unveiled, a sense of foreboding gripped the chamber. The verdict, like an intricate
puzzle missing crucial pieces, unfolded in a manner that echoed neither precedent nor reason.
The courtroom, once filled with anticipation, now reverberated with a perplexing sense of discord. The ramifications of the verdict, like tendrils creeping through the corridors of jurisprudence, hinted at an unsettling truth. The decision rendered that day had the potential to carve a path towards undesirable legal precedents, leaving a mark on Kenya’s jurisprudential landscape that was far from sanguine.
In this moment of revelation, his journey took an unexpected turn. The well-crafted arguments that had resonated through the courtroom now seemed as if they were in a discordant duet with the verdict. The divergence between his submission and the court’s decision stood as a stark reminder that the trajectory of justice could be shaped not only by eloquent advocacy but by the collective wisdom of the bench.
The tale of Senior Counsel, interwoven with Lord Denning’s philosophy, stands as a testament to the unpredictable nature of legal proceedings. It underscores the enduring truth that even the most meticulously constructed arguments can falter against the weight of judicial decision-making. As the echoes of this saga continue to reverberate, it’s a call to all who tread the path of jurisprudence to ensure that the principles upheld are not only legally sound but also resilient against the tides of uncertain
judgments that may cast shadows over the realm of law.
In an era where the trajectory of judgments can either carve a path of steadfast principles or unleash a cascade of uncertainty, the tale resonates as a gentle caution. As the Supreme Court navigates the waters of jurisprudence, there is an unspoken truth that each decision, laden with implications, casts its own ripples into the future.
It is a reminder that the legacy of a court isn’t merely in the courtroom, but in the contours of precedent that echo through time. And as we draw from Lord Denning’s wisdom, perhaps it is worth pondering the timeless truth that decisions should not just be legally sound, but enduringly just, to ensure that the echoes they leave behind are a testament to the sanctity of the law.
Peter is a fourth year law student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
He is currently working as a legal intern at the firm.