There are five of them.

Brit Syndicates is about the construction of an insurance indemnity policy: not my kind of thing at all. Total Network is about VAT “carousel” or “MTIC” fraud and whether HMRC can recover lost sums in the form of damages from traders.

Most of the media attention, if the judgments get any attention on budget day, will be on Norris v United States, the extradition case in which the Lords have decided that price-fixing does not in itself amount to a common law conspiracy to defraud, so that Norris cannot be extradited for that (although he can still be extradited on obstruction of justice charges, subject to further consideration by the extradition judge). GG PLC is related to Norris, and turns on whether fixing the price of drugs is conspiracy to defraud.

The most important of today’s judgments though is Animal Defenders v Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, a human rights case in which it was argued that the ban on political advertising in section 321(2) of the Communications Act 2003 breaches the article 10 Convention right to freedom of expression. Particularly interesting, this, since when that bill passed through Parliament, ministers were unable to say the legislation was compatible, given the state of Strasbourg case law. But the legislation has survived: all the Lords agree the ban is justified and that Parliament is entitled to maintain it consistently with article 10 and the ECtHR case law. Lord Bingham gives the leading speech.

There’s an interesting sidelight: Lord Scott suggests that under the Human Rights Act the Lords can depart from Strasbourg’s case law interpreting article 10 if it sees fit; Lord Bingham and Lady Hale gang up (as usual) to disagree with him and insist the task of domestic judges is to keep pace with Strasbourg, no more no less. I’m not sure (for once) who I think’s right on this – I’ll have to have a think about it.