"The humanity of the Court has been loudly and repeatedly invoked.

"Humanity is the second virtue of Courts. Undoubtedly, the first is justice."

William Scott, in Evans v Evans.

One can still hear the sarcastic words of the old and ornery Supreme Court judge in Victoria, British Columbia, ringing through the court room as she rudely sought to best the young lawyer: "Mr. Duhaime, surely you know that there is no room for sympathy or empathy in a court of law!"

Surely, she was thinking of the words of Sir William Scott in Evans.

But, then, there's a little lie to that statement, as the old woman knew too well.

Judicial discretion and the availability of equity are but two of the tools judges have to reach for humanity at the expense of strict justice, in any given case.

But these are the exceptions, not the rule, which is as stated by William Scott,  Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, aka Lord Stowell, and, truth be told, Madam Justice, My Lady Whatshername.

William Scott should of been ashamed of himself because in Evans v Evans, he used that expression to orphan abandon wives in common law jurisdictions. In 1790, he set the legal threshold of cruelty in a marriage, when asserted by a wife to obtain relief from a court of law from an abusive husband, at physical violence which caused harm to physical health.

Justice, indeed!

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