A nice witty judgment to read – see Words to good effect:

So judges can be just as flummoxed as we are by legalese. Here is one of the “astonishingly informative” definitions Sir Alan was referring to:

(1) An hereditament is anything which, by virtue of the definition of hereditament in s. 115(1) of the 1967 Act, would have been an hereditament for the purposes of that Act had this Act not been passed.

The judgment is here. It’s about a houseboat on which council tax was levied after its owner wrote to the council offering to make a payment in lieu – a move he surely regretted later. It’s about settlers and wayfarers.

The Northrop’s houseboat, a former Thames tug built in 1953 has many of the features that prospective house buyers look for. There are two good-sized bedrooms, two open fireplaces, gas central heating, a large sitting room and kitchen and several flat screen TVs. Old admiralty maps decorate the ceiling and there is even a grand piano and dedicated music room on board.

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