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My Justice Lewison has given a second judgment (Re Stanford International Bank Ltd & Ors,  EWHC 1661 (Ch) (09 July 2009)) in the potentially long running "Sir" Allen Stanford litigation. The judgment is short and relates solely to the question of whether or not "Sir" Allen Stanford has leave to appeal Mr Justice Lewison's earlier judgment. The learned judge has held that he does not. Mr Justice Lewison begins his analysis by observing, inter alia:
"I did not understand Mr Joseph to be applying for permission to appeal on behalf of Sir Allen Stanford. His supplemental skeleton argument said nothing about permission to appeal on his client's behalf and he made no oral submissions on the subject. I did not intend to give permission to appeal to Sir Allen."
The learned judge concludes his judgment by stating:
"In my judgment, therefore, I have no jurisdiction to grant permission to appeal. If I had had jurisdiction I would not have granted permission to appeal because:
i) I do not consider that the first ground of appeal (namely that the power to recognise a receiver at common law has been abolished by the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations) has a real prospect of success;
ii) The second and third grounds of appeal were not, so far as I recall, argued before me and it must be a question for the Court of Appeal whether that court is prepared to entertain arguments that were not deployed at first instance."
The brevity of the second judgment has put me in mind of a very short judgment in an 18th century trusts case, the name of which temporarily escapes me. I will fish it out and post it up here. In the interim I hereby launch a competition ("The Shortest Judgment Competition") to find the shortest judgment ever delivered by a member of the English judiciary. The prize for this competition will be a lunch at the Savile on me. Judges are allowed to enter, but only with their own judgments if written before today (09/07/09). The closing date for submissions (via email: email@example.com) will be September 12th, 2009. The judgments do not have to be restricted to the law of insolvency. Happy hunting!
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