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"That whom he could not by the sword destroy, he might supplant by the law."

A famous and ominous admonition of Justice Hobart in Sheffield v Ratcliffe against all those who would use the law, and litigation especially, to intimidate or to crush another.

Judges must be vigilant against these wealthy litigants who seek to weild the law against others whom they cannot "destroy by the sword" for the edge of the law can be just as sharp and effective, albeit more prolonged, than the edge of a sword.


  • Sheffield v Ratcliffe 1614 Hobart 335 (England)