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A Letter To Sam

July 27, 2017

Once in a blue moon, something crosses your path that is so wonderful, you don’t know how you can possibly cope emotionally with its profoundness. Today was one of those days.

Having a cheeky lay in this morning, I came across the latest judgment of Justice Peter Jackson. Thankfully I didn’t have any work until noon as throughout the morning deep sobs emerged from somewhere inside me, as if my soul was doing cartwheels. I didn’t think my body could cope with being touched by such humanity, wisdom and deepest respect for and understanding of the human condition.

Jackson J had written his latest judgment in the form of a letter to Sam, the teenage boy at the heart of the case. Miraculously in doing so, Jackson J doesn’t dilute the legal argument and gives the finest example of an acute mind engaged in a profound decision making process.

Here is the judgment. It’s not long. Please read it to the very end:

Jackson J doesn’t pull any punches. He is never sentimental. He is critical with sabre like directness.

But in the same way he achieved with Steven Neary, and Mr B (in the Wye Valley case) and the children in the Lancashire CC vs M case, and JS in the “cryonics” case, he exhibits a deeply respectful duty towards Sam.

A man, and his incredible humanity towards a boy.



The Mr B case –

The JS case –

The Neary case –

The M case –


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  1. Steve S permalink

    Thanks Mark for putting this out there. An amazing and very moving letter outlining which clearly illustrates a judge who gets human behaviour.

  2. JPJ’s work seems to be putting lives back on track, not ruining them.

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