We are hugely grateful to David Watkinson for continuing the longstanding tradition of writing and delivering poems to mark special occasions at Garden Court Chambers.
The ECHR - The Beginning and the Present
(with apologies to Wilfred Owen (Strange Meeting) and William Wordsworth (The Happy Warrior))
It seemed that out of darkness we escaped
Through granite which titanic wars had groined
And came upon a place where nations met
And determined that they by law be joined
The basis of this law is reason and this continent depends
Upon that law as on the best of friends
Which, in a world where men are tempted still
To evil, stands guard against worst ill.
Can there be
Those who would prefer to see
Servitude or slavery
No right to liberty
No fair trial nor right to respect for home, private life or family
No freedom of thought, religion, speech or assembly?
I fear that there well may be
And that they are not absent
Even in our government
So we must all then vigilant be
To preserve these rights for all humanity.
David Watkinson, Garden Court Chambers