MoJ’s trials and errors

With stunning timing, the new Ministry of Justice (MoJ) managed to cock up its first major announcement. High Court judges Mr Justice Pumfrey and Mr Justice Rimer were both appointed to the Court of Appeal last week, but the short online statements confirming the moves were mixed up.

Instead of saying that Pumfrey J would be replacing Lord Justice Chadwick at the start of November, the note said he would replace Lord Justice Auld at the end of September – the spot reserved for Rimer J.

It seems a minor point. But when you have a six-week trial coming up in October, as Pumfrey J does with Nokia v Interdigital, an announcement like that can make a lot of lawyers very nervous. And indeed it did.

With the error rectified, it looks more likely that Pumfrey J will stay on a little longer in the High Court to hear the marathon patent case.

In a way you could say it was a miscarriage of Mr Justice.