An Embarrassing Morning in Court

Another in the series of vignettes about my perhaps slightly unusual life at the English Bar. The disaster recounted below occurred in early 1994.

A children’s author called Lemony Snicket wrote a book called A Series of Unfortunate Events. I once represented someone who had suffered a series of such events.

A Nigerian, X, had been born in the UK where his affluent parents had been on holiday. A few weeks after the birth, the family returned to Nigeria, where X went to school. It was then decided to send X to university overseas. An American university, I think in the Midwest, was chosen and X attended that institution for a few years. During that time, X also engaged, like many Nigerians, in business activities of some sort. Unfortunately, as a result of these, he was charged and convicted of a Federal offence of fraud, subsequently serving a one-year sentence in Federal prison.

X had entered the USA on a visa which was invalidated once X was convicted of a Federal offence. Thus, when the year in prison had finished, X was incarcerated in another Federal detention facility as a person facing deportation. X wanted to appeal his conviction and so resisted deportation by filing an appeal against that too. He was moved to a Federal facility in Louisiana. According to his own account, the place was a “concentration camp” amid heat and mosquitos in which place, every day, he was offered the chance to be released if only he would agree to drop his immigration appeal and return to Nigeria. He resisted these invitations for some time, but eventually, worn down by the conditions, conceded.

It was at this point that it was discovered that X had been born in London. The US authorities thenceforth refused to deal with the Nigerian Consulate on his behalf and took him under guard to the UK Consulate in Houston, Texas, apparently the nearest one with authority to deal with the matter. He was issued with a British passport and was then sent to the UK, a country he had only seen as a newborn baby.

X said that he had never been violent, but only argued with the US officials accompanying him, to the effect that he wished to go to Nigeria, not the UK. As a result, X travelled from Houston to Gatwick handcuffed throughout the flight, also forced to wear a weighted leather device attached to one leg, and with two guards guarding him.

X’s travails continued after landing. All other passengers were disembarked, then a police car was driven up to the aircraft and steps brought. X was told to get up but could not, by reason of his leg having gone to sleep. The handcuffs and leg weight were removed. He was then manhandled by the guards and the British police off the aircraft, then literally dragged down the aircraft steps and into the waiting police car. It got worse from there.

Having (according to his own evidence) not wanted to be sent to the UK, X was now held at Gatwick police station and then an immigration detention centre near Portsmouth on the basis that he had no right to be in the UK  and was, notwithstanding the recently-issued British passport, an illegal immigrant! After two weeks in British immigration detention, X was driven back to Gatwick police station, told “OK, you have been checked out and you do have the right to be in the UK”, whereupon he was given the bus fare to Crawley, the nearest town, and released. Thus X found himself in the UK with only pennies in his pocket, nowhere to stay, knowing no-one and nothing.

X eventually managed to get some kind of emergency help with housing from the local council but wanted to move to London. He left Crawley for various reasons and went to London. He applied for housing to seven London boroughs, most of which refused even to consider his request (he claimed). This was the basis for his wish, over a year later, to seek judicial review of the decisions to refuse him and/or the refusal to consider his request(s) at all. I have no idea why his Nigerian family did not help him out with money or air tickets. Maybe the American events had estranged them.

X in person was irritating: an obsessive, fast-talking West African who had obviously decided to stay in the UK and to extract as much benefit as possible. Having said that, I thought that he had been treated very badly both in the US and UK. His case seemed at least arguable. His solicitor was a small Nigerian, almost a pygmy in size, who did not inspire confidence.

On the morning of the “application to apply” of the 2-stage process, I was at the Royal Courts of Justice, my by-then-usual stamping ground, in order to appear before Mr. Justice Laws (later a Lord Justice of Appeal). I had invited an old friend, an elegant European aristocratic lady, to see me in action and then, after my hoped-for initial triumph, to join me at lunch in Hall at nearby Lincoln’s Inn.

Greek tragedy placed hubris as inviting Nemesis. The courtroom was quite crowded with other barristers coming on after me. At first, things went well, despite the fact that, instead of neatly-organized files, the pygmy solicitor’s filing system appeared to be a large black bin-bag. The judge was listening, even perhaps slightly nodding at times (or was that wishful thinking on my part?). Then I struck the reef:

“Mr. Millard, where is the document from each council refusing Mr X?”

“My Lord, there are no such documents. Part of the case of the Applicant is that he requested a written decision in each case and was refused even that.”

“Mr. Millard, I think that I have to see something in writing.”

It was at this point that I felt a tug on my barrister’s black gown. Turning slightly, I saw the pygmy waving a piece of paper excitedly, smiling manically and nodding like a mechanized Victorian toy. Rashly, very rashly, I replied to the judge,

“I in fact appear to be in a position to assist your Lordship”

and only then looked at the paper. Big mistake. It was blank. I turned it over. Blank. I turned it over again, not quite believing this. I must have looked like a character out of a Laurel and Hardy film. I caught, peripherally, the incredulous looks of a couple of the waiting barristers. Sadly, no flying saucer appeared to beam me up and away from it all. I had to say something.

“I regret, my Lord, that in fact I am not in a position to assist your Lordship.”

Thus it was that Mr Justice Laws, later Lord Justice Laws, turned that colour, a mixture of pink, red and purple, that I now call Judicial Livid. His final remarks, in refusing our application, were curt (though not insulting; they did not have to be…).

On the way out of the courtroom and into the corridor, my guest, swathed in furs and jewels, and whom I had hoped would see me achieve a successful result, sympathetically said, “poor Ian”…

Update, 6 April 2020

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8190231/Dominic-Cummings-uncle-retired-judge-Sir-John-Laws-dies-coronavirus-diagnosis.html

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players. … They have their exits and their entrances, and in his lifetime a man will play many parts, his life separated into seven acts.

[Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7]

9 thoughts on “An Embarrassing Morning in Court”

  1. I assume the respondent council was denying that the Nigerian had been declined housing? I don’t understand how the basis of the denial would not have been established in pre-trial correspondence if it was a judicial review case. Or was the judge simply standing on ceremony?

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    1. This case was heard in 1993 or early 1994, before the Pre-Trial Protocols of the present Civil Procedure Rules were laid down (about 20 years ago). In most of the cases complained about there was no correspondence of use (and I have explained that the “pygmy” solicitor was as much use as a chocolate kettle). To answer your question simply, yes, the councils involved all denied that the Applicant was denied housing. The essence (as I recall it) was that he had made no or no formal application for housing. It sounds chaotic, but I recall having contact with at least one or two London borough housing departments in the 1990s, and they *were* completely chaotic, esp. Hammersmith

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  2. Do you think “Judicial Livid” would today be supplanted by ‘Rainbow Cognitive-Dissonanced?

    “…The Pride flag will also fly over City landmarks including Guildhall, Mansion House, ***The Old Bailey*** and Tower Bridge in the week leading up to the parade [on 7-7-2018]….”

    https://www.citymatters.london/corporation-flies-flag-pride-london-march/

    It’s an interesting fact that the “Pride” flag happens to be also (or primarily) the symbol of the Noahide Laws

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noahidism

    an infraction in relation to which will in the fullness of time be visited with execution by decapitation (according to spicier Xian religious zealots anyway).

    Surprise! White does not appear on that flag.

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    1. Very interesting. I did not know that, though I suppose that it *could* be regarded as co-incidental. Acting as Devil’s Advocate the other way, it is hardly new to say that Jews generally, or as a group, always tend to favour the degenerative processes and/or trends in non-Jewish society, thus weakening that society and making it easier to rule over via money, the love of money, mass media, repressive laws abused even further by Jew-Zionist lawyers etc.

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  3. The flying of the Pride Flag on public buildings is an act of aggression and territorial marking. It’s symbolically causing the population to pass under the yoke

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passum_sub_iugum

    The Agenda is now openly flaunted. My first reaction was to think this latest excess was illegal but these notes of uncertain authority suggest otherwise:
    https://www.theukrules.co.uk/rules/legal/flags/

    For those interested, the https://www.citymatters.london/
    domain bears scrutiny for its showboating a variety of other subversive and anti-White British agendas, e.g.

    “Guest Column: Diversity & Equality Talk Must not be allowed become [sic] White Noise”.

    “Aldermanic Candidates ready to go to the polls: Women vow to champion greater diversity if elected”.

    “Why Zurich employees have decided to share their love of numbers: Here’s looking at Youth” (strapline to photo of 9 individuals, 1 White male, 1 White female schoolchild, the rest Black/ Asian).

    One advertisement carried reads
    “Ink on paper is the easy part. What’s clever is what we do with the profits.

    Social Enterprise Printing
    http://www.inkit.london

    A quick search of the online Companies House records for this free rag’s publisher “City Publishing Ltd” of E1 disclosed no useful information.

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    1. There are secretive and in both senses “occult” groups engaged in various aspects of the plan to create the degeneration of the race and nation. One example I often use is that of the attempts (which intensified from the 1980s, particularly after 1989) to degenerate society in the UK via promotion of the “night-time economy” of “clubs” (meaning noisy nightclubs full of not only drinkers but druggers) and gambling. The Blair “50 mega-casinos” plan was in that current, but was dropped once Gordon Brown became PM.

      The increasing vulgarity of the night-time scene (vulgar “hen nights”, women smashed out of their minds and literally in the gutter, drunken brawling commonplace etc, drug abuse) is one aspect or prong.

      The racemixing propaganda is another prong on that plan.

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      1. Some laughable ‘conservative’ party MPs want to legalse cannabis! Yes, I suppose they think that will increase their joke party’s vote at general election time since you have to be stoned out of your head or a member of the ultra-rich to vote Tory This proposal of theirs only goes to illustrate how racical market liberal libertarian types like that fruitcake/werido Danniel Hannan have taken over the Conservative Party and the old Tory Party that used to have at least some semblance of being anti-globalist is now part of history.. I only approve of the MEDICINAL use of cannabis and nothing more. Drug use is abhorrent to me and causes the degeneracy of society as you correctly say. I believe a future ‘Right-wing’ government should go to town on drug users and more importantly those who deal in this vile trade along the lines of the government of Singapore which doesn’t mess around:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Singapore

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misuse_of_Drugs_Act_(Singapore)

        They’ve got the general idea right though some aspects of that latter law may be a little too harsh but in general I still think we have been too soft on drug dealers here.

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      2. My instinct is along the same lines: to ban (continue to ban) illicit drug use and to clean up the UK’s neighbourhoods. However, it is clear that the State has lost control. There is an argument for legalization combined with social discouragement and medical intervention. What matters is the outcome. This is a market. To kill a market you have to remove the customers (not, primarily, the sellers). This is where the US and UK are mistaken, in treating most harshly the importers (the US also bombs coca and poppy fields overseas!), then the dealers, then the users, but it is the users that fuel the rest of the process.

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