Lord Denning quotes

The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country

Daily Telegraph (1989)

“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown.

It may be frail—its roof may shake—the wind may blow through it—the storm may enter—the rain may enter—but the King of England cannot enter—all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.” So be it—unless he has justification by law.

Southam v Smout [1964] 1 QB 308 at 320

There are many things in life more worth while than money.

One of these things is to be brought up in this our England, which is still “the envy of less happier lands”.

I do not believe it is for the benefit of children to be uprooted from England and transported to another country simply to avoid tax… Many a child has been ruined by being given too much. The avoidance of tax may be lawful, but it is not yet a virtue.

Re Weston’s Settlements, [1969] 1 Ch 223

“Unlike my brother judge here, who is concerned with law,” he once teased at a legal dinner, “I am concerned with justice.”

What is the argument on the other side? Only this, that no case has been found in which it has been done before. That argument does not appeal to me in the least.

If we never do anything which has not been done before, we shall never get anywhere. The law will stand still while the rest of the world goes on, and that will be bad for both

A family law case

In June 1970, a big earth-moving machine got stuck in the mud. It sank so far as to be out of sight. It cost much money to get it out. Who is to pay the cost?

British Crane Hire Corporation Ltd v. Ipswich Plant Hire Ltd [1970] 1 All ER 1059

Broadchalke is one of the most pleasing villages in England.

Old Herbert Bundy, the defendant, was a farmer there.

His home was at Yew Tree Farm.  It went back for 300 years.  His family had been there for generations.

It was his only asset.

But he did a very foolish thing.  He mortgaged it to the bank.

Lloyds Bank v. Bundy [1973] 3 All ER 757

More information on Lord Denning, the son of a draper and the most celebrated English judge of the 20th century, is here and here

Lord Denning

Denning was the last judge to have the right to stay in the job for life. He joked that he had “every Christian virtue, except resignation”. He retired aged 83 after making some rather poorly chosen remarks and died a few months after his 100th birthday.

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