Saturday, May 06, 2006
The Code, the judgement and a blooper!
The Da Vinci Code trial is over! But, Law Wire noticed that you cannot Mr Justice Peter Smith out of court. Just when he thought the Da Vinci Code case was dead and buried, it seems to have sprung to life again. First, the learned judge hit the headlines by sticking his own private bit of encryption into his judgment. Then, in Baigent and another v Random House (Re The Lawyer), heard yesterday, we saw a journalist with The Lawyer magazine getting into all sorts of trouble.
What happened, according to the Online Press Gazette, was that the journalist got hold of the draft judgment before it was supposed to be made public, then put it on The Lawyer's website. When he learned of the error of his ways, he apologised. But in court yesterday he got a good roasting from the judge, who explained that the privilege of making judgments available before they were fully baked would be taken away if journalists abused it again.
Rodney D. Ryder