In the nine century of the normal legislation Lord Denning was a occurrence. Great 'forces of storage and comprehension, as well as formidable legal learning, had been exercised over a period of thirty-eight years as a judge'. Not merely he was a great judge but a judge who kept according and affection by his fellow judges, the Pub and the public. In his career as a judge he was striking and innovative, wished to restate the law in accordance with established key points and hated the restrictions imposed by precedent. He was a state enough to circumvent awkward precedent so that justice could be done in the individual circumstance before him, he did not await the Parliament to amend the law. His concern has gone to do justice and he has been more clearly aware than others of the restrictions of logic.
One outstanding feature of Lord Denning's job was rate. 'In the Projumo Inquiry he needed data from 160 witnesses over a period of 49 days and nights and had written a 70. 000 phrase report during the 8 weeks of the Long Vacation. ' He was very quick to take to take the idea and dealt with litigants courteously but with exemplary quickness. In Lord Denning's many battles with the House of Lords as a judicial body he has frequently been defeated. Nevertheless, Parliament often legislated in the manner that Denning had marked out and the House of Lords using its different composition sometimes came round to his way of thinking.
Denning was created on 23 January 1899, 8 weeks sooner than expected and practically passed on. His baptismal name was Alfred Thompson Denning, but he was always known as Tom, shortened from his mother's maiden name Thompson. His mother regarded him 'as the weakest of her brood, needing special treatment. When off to college she insisted that he had cod-liver essential oil in a glass of milk. Denning had written: "I was so little and puny that I possibly could be put in a pint pot. They called me Tom Thumb". ' Denning's father was an extremely well read man with considerable knowledge of British literature and a good verbal ram. He could price poetry and prose thoroughly. Denning's excellent storage area originated from his father. Denning acquired four brothers and a sister; he was the fifth child in the family.
At the outbreak of Wold Warfare I Denning was aged fifteen and working hard for a School scholarship or grant in mathematics. He performed well and emerged top in British and mathematics. Therefore the Headmaster, Sir Herbert Warren, recommended him to try for Oxford or Cambridge. He sat for Oxford and Cambridge evaluation at age 16. And he was accepted in Magdalen College or university with a scholarship or grant of 30 per year. He took a first class level in the Mathematical Last Institution f 1920, but the situation arose how to proceed for a living. The Headmaster offered him employment teaching mathematics and he accepted, but he was not happy, he did not enjoy teaching kids. He had written to Mary (later to be his better half): 'I believe that I do not need to stay down here doing the same thing every single day, an extremely mediocre schoolmaster without ambition and no hope'. In under a year he sough the advice of Sir Herbert Warren on his future career. He was ambitious and wished to get on on the planet, he saw the law as 'an avenue for advancement in life. '
While at Winchester he seen the Assizes and believed that the law was an occupation that would suite him perfectly. Sir Herbert Warren said that he would be willing to have him back again at Magdalen to review the law. In October 1921 he came back to Magdalen to read for the Final Honours College of Jurisprudence. And in 1922 he again done at the top of class and got his firs degree. At the age 23 Denning possessed two high grade diplomas: one in mathematics and one in rules.
Having decided to make his job at the Club Denning was accepted as an associate of Lincoln's Inn on December 1921. He 'attempted for Lincoln's Inn specifically because the Under Treasurer at that time was a Magdalen man. ' He studied in Lincoln's Inn Catalogue for his examinations while maintaining his sensible work in chambers. He maintained six meals in Hall each term. He arrived top in the Bar assessment and was located in the first class.
Denning was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn on 13 June 1923.
Lord Ackner provided a conversation when he launched a bust of Lord Denning offered to regulations Courts by the Culture to indicate Lord Denning's 96th birthday. Lord Ackner and Lord Denning were fellow judges in the Court docket of Appeal. Here are his stories about Tom:
'Whenever you made an appearance before Lord Denning - Tom as he was affectionately known - as an advocate, or sat with him as a judicial university - and I did so both, he never made you are feeling inadequate. On the other hand, he created the impression, often with little basis, that you had an important contribution to make. He brought out the best in you. He made you are feeling special.
On that initial occasion in 1948, while i was longing to seriously in the Judge of Appeal, there is in front of me an charm against an order that the plaintiff give security for the costs of impending appeal because it was considered that if he failed in the appeal he might well struggle to meet the costs. The appeal was being offered by a dark advocate, unusual in those days. He was very young and very inexperienced. The President of the Courtroom, a testy member of the judiciary, was giving him a very hard time, demanding to know upon which guideline of the Annual Practice he was relying. Regretfully, he had not really a clue. Tom was not prepared to tolerate his humiliation and with a quality charming smile he intervened to say: "I believe you will find that it is Order 23. The relevant guideline is defined out completely on page 423 of the White Publication. " This was my to begin many experiences of the courtesy and kindness, indeed the helpfulness, which one could always expect when showing up before him.
Tom acquired a love for justice and sought to decide a case corresponding to its merits alternatively than through the use of the strict notice of regulations. This was, of course, well known to all or any those who appeared before him. I once got a circumstance for a firm of moneylenders, who got behaved perfectly properly, but it was alleged that they had made a slight miscalculation of the interest - indeed to the benefit of the customer. I exposed the merits of my case sky-high and, when i acquired expected, it wasn't a long time before Lord Justice Diplock, an associate of the court, tapped the table and said - "Mr Ackner, I don't know why you are revealing people this. We aren't a jury. " Addressing Tom with a look of veiled sadness, I said: "I do apologise my Lord, but I thought that in this judge the merits were always considered important. " "Quite right", said Tom, "You reveal a lttle bit more about them. " I succeeded in my appeal, although there was a dissenting view by Lord Justice Diplock.
The dining tables, however, were transformed upon me within an entirely different circumstance - Nagle v the Jockey Team. Mrs Nagle, an elderly and very fierce lady, owned a huge number of race horses and she wanted to have a licence from the Jockey Team to teach them. The Jockey Club would not give women licences to train horses. One experienced only to look at Mrs Nagle to understand that was not a proposition which could persuasively put forward. Tom totally disregarded a previous precedent of his own making some eleven years before and refused to hit out the case brought contrary to the Jockey Club, expressing that everyone was entitled to the to work - whatever that might mean.
Tom's frame of mind to precedent was, I really believe, much influenced by Lord Atkin who regarding United Australia Ltd v Barclays Lender in 1944 said: "When these spirits from days gone by stand in the road of justice clanking their medieval chains, the proper course for the judge is to pass through them undeterred. "
I can remember a letter in THE DAYS a few years ago from a legislations university student, pleading that Lord Denning and his courtroom should reserve all future judgments for another several a few months so that he could easily get on along with his planning for the forthcoming exams, assured that the precedents, which he previously been or would be learning, would stay inviolate.
I keep in mind touring with my wife in Scotland some 20 or so years ago whenever we heard on the automobile radio an interview by Sir Robin Day of Lord Devlin, another spectacular judicial amount, who acquired just written a e book called The Judges. The interview gone somewhat the following:
"Lord Devlin, you are of the judgment that legislation is a subject for Parliament and not for the judges?" (which Lord Devlin in his impressively deep voice answered in the affirmative).
"Lord Denning can take the contrary view. " Day continuing. (To which Lord Devlin responded quickly): "THEREFORE I understand. "
"But this is a matter of some sizeable importance. You must have more to say upon the subject. "
After a brief pause, Lord Devlin responded: "Lord Denning is an extremely great judge. " "Yes everybody knows that", responded to Day. "But surely you must have more to say than that. "
"Lord Denning is a specimen tree", Lord Devlin replied. "You mustn't have a whole avenue of them. "
I put in three of my six years in the Court of Appeal sitting with Tom. It was a significant privilege. The courtroom had a distinctive atmosphere, that i have never experienced before or since. "It was an exciting experience because of the marvellous acceleration with that you assimilated facts and the identical speed with that you grasped the relevant points of laws and all their implications" is how Lord Salmond identified it, recalling the eight happy years that he was lucky enough to stay with Tom in the Courtroom of Charm.
Simplicity was the fact of the style which Tom implemented in his judgments. Here's but a brief example taken from the truth of Lloyd's Bank v Bunday in 1975: "Broadchalke is one of the very most attractive villages in Britain. Old Herbert Bunday, the defendant, was a farmer there. His home was at Yew Tree Plantation. It returned for 300 years. His family had been there for generations. It had been his only advantage. But he do an extremely foolish thing. He mortgaged it to the lender. . . not to borrow money for himself but also for the sake of his son. Now the Bank have come down on him. . . they would like to get him out. "
Tom's skill with litigants personally has known no similar. They almost queued up to obtain the ability of showing up before him, and the ones who achieved it on more than one occasion, he would recognise with a cheerful "Ah Mrs Brown! We haven't seen you for some time. What do you think we can do for you today?" A lot of the applications were hopeless, but those who failed travelled away entirely content that Tom experienced done the best he could for the kids. How different was the position after he still left.
But all that said, Lord Denning was absolutely, in the words of Lord Scarman: "One of the few geniuses of the English Common Rules. " His is a name to conjure with, for it is he who has been the greatest liberating impact in the law of our own time. '