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News & views

Christopher Staughton, patron of Clarity

Sir Christopher Staughton, esteemed and long-serving patron of Clarity, the body that advocates clear legal language, has died at 81.

Bright enough to have won a scholarship to Eton in 1946 and another to Magdalene College, Cambridge where he won the George Long prize for Roman Law, Staughton became a barrister and eventually a judge in the Court of Appeal.

The Daily Telegraph carried his obituary on 21 Oct: ‘Staughton was particularly keen on doing away with archaic language. He once wrote that when a barrister addressing a judge says: “With respect m’lord” he means: “You are wrong”; when he says: “With great respect m’lord” he  means: “You are utterly wrong”; and when he says: “With the utmost respect  m’lord” he means: “It is time to send for the men in white coats.”’

There will be a tribute during the Clarity conference, 11–13 November, in Antwerp.

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