Friday found me watching a computer screen from 10:30am to 4:30pm to watch the Wild Justice challenge to the lawfulness of Natural Resources Wales’s general licences. In theory this was in court in Cardiff but I am not sure that anyone was in Cardiff. There were many attendees from ourselves (the Claimant), NRW (the Defendant) and DEFRA, BASC and NFU Wales (interested parties). There is a long blog on the Wild Justice website describing the background to the case and some of what happened on the day.
I’ve been asked how it went. And I say it went very well because that was my impression – but it was only an impression of a fairly naive observer (and a partial one as well).
Watching a court hearing is more like watching Strictly Come Dancing (I was glad that Bill Baillie won – he won for the oldies, for the birders and for my bet on the result!) than watching a game of football or even baseball. There is no point at which the ball hits the back of the net or is hit out of the ground, and no scoreboard that shows who is winning. No, it’s more like watching dancing when, even as someone with no particular knowledge of what should be happening, it is possible to spot a stumble, or a brilliant move, and get an impression of class on the pitch, I mean dance floor.
On that basis I would say that Wild Justice’s barrister, David Wolfe QC, played a blinder – but the home supporters may have felt differently, I guess.
I’ll tell you one thing though – paying attention from 10:30 to 4:30, even with a lunchbreak, is pretty tiring – and all I was doing was watching and listening.
The judge reveals his scores in early January so that must be how he is plaqnning to spend part of his lockdown Christmas.