David Pannick’s summary of the legal year has appeared in the Times Online, where I at least am registered free of charge. He summarizes runners-up and winners in categories such as judge of the year, sentence of the year, interesting dispute resolution idea, poetic judge of the year, cartoon of the year, juror of the year, judicial wisdom of the year, optimistic lawsuit of the year, most persuasive submission, most stupid defendant, witness of the year, and unhappiest litigant of the year.
Sometimes I wonder if there are funny cases other than those involving nudity, underwear, and lavatory jokes, but here at least is the section on interesting dispute resolution idea:
bq. The Interesting Dispute Resolution Idea award went to Leon Humphreys, of Bury St Edmunds, who failed to persuade magistrates that whether he should pay a £25 motoring fine should be decided by trial by combat, with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority being required to nominate a champion to fight him to the death. The authorities in Chaoyang, east Beijing, sought to encourage the more pacific resolution of disputes by playing Richard Claydermans piano music in the background during court proceedings to provide a soothing atmosphere.