Letter: A watertight argument

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is a pity that the Master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas Bingham, in his speech at the Bar Council's centenary conference last week, advocating that counsel should confine oral argument to a 'tight but reasonable timetable', appeared to overlook a useful classical precedent.

In the law courts of fifth-century Athens the problem of garrulity was overcome by the use of a water-clock (clepsydra), when time literally 'ran out' for the speaker. Might not an alarm clock or stopwatch serve as well nowadays?

Yours faithfully,


Shrewsbury, Shropshire

7 October