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Judge Lord Sumption Becomes Star Of Supreme Court Brexit Hearing

Breaking Hearts. Adjudicating Matters Of Law.

06/12/2016 13:48 | Updated 07 December 2016

A Supreme Court judge is winning hearts with his hair, choice of ties and cutting rebukes as the Government tries to argue it doesn’t need parliament’s permission to start Brexit.

Lord Jonathan Sumption emerged as an early favourite of those watching proceedings on Monday, the first day of the four-day hearing.

This was no small feat given he was competing for attention with a pro-Brexit dancing leprechaun and a double deck bus full of protestors dressed as judges.

His stern, cross-armed pose helped win him the most attention out of the 11 judges sitting on the case, as it was live-streamed and carried live by broadcasters. 

But it was his hair and multi-coloured tie in particular that won hearts during the first day of the  highest ever profile in the court’s history.

Lord Sumption is not letting up on the second day of the hearing and is solidifying his title as Star Of The Show.

This time, he has opted for a tie with an even greater range of colours, from black to blue.

It was the focus of Tuesday’s comments on his appearance.

But Lord Sumption proved it wasn’t his sartorial choices that got him a seat on the highest court in the land.

He told off the Government’s lawyer James Eadie after he had “given two diametrically opposed answers to the same question” while being asked about the Great Repeal Bill, which is meant to write all EU law into law in the UK when Britain leaves the bloc.

Eadie said initially that this Bill was not relevant to the decision the judges had to make. He then said the Government didn’t accept it was legally irrelevant.

It’s hard to tell what the judges are thinking based on their questions and comments but Lord Sumption’s rebuke prompted the case’s keenest observers to say things along the lines of “oh dear”. 

Lord Sumption, who is also a historian who writes books in his spare time and was described as having “a brain the size of a planet” by Alastair Campbell, whom the barrister represented at the Hutton Inquiry, so we’ll be disappointed if there aren’t more stinging rebukes in the next stages of the hearing.

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