Special Issue – 135 Years of The Law Reports and The Weekly Law Reports
by Robert Williams
Law reporting, as applied to the writing of a headnote, is a skill which is not easily learnt. It is partly academic – defining the concept of ratio decidendi and applying it to particular cases is the fundamental task of every student of jurisprudence – partly journalistic, particularly in relation to the summary reports which are now demanded within hours of the delivery of a judgment, and, above all, practical – law reporters are providing the raw material to facilitate the application of law to real situations and real people in everyday life.
This selection, which comprises cases which have acquired a certain venerability over the years, may, perhaps, be viewed as a tribute to the law reporters and editors of preceding generations who have worked for the Incorporated Council, whose example inspires us today and whose mantle we wear with pride. I hope it will also serve to draw attention to the current reports, where the same qualities of dedication, skill and accuracy can still be discerned week by week.
I am immensely grateful to the reporters and editorial staff, whose skill and hard work enables us to provide our subscribers with a comprehensive selection of reports as quickly as is consistent with maintaining a high standard of accuracy, and to all those who contribute to the publication and distribution of The Law Reports, The Weekly Law Reports and Industrial Cases Reports. Particular thanks are due to Paul Magrath and Mary Fraser (with assistance from Nicholas Mercer) for their part in compiling this souvenir volume.