Legal Wales to the Right Honourable Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
In the course of keeping the peace – there is,
in order to ensure balance,
a part to play for scales and for sword
and for the awen of Cwmgïedd;
an awen which gives, above the sound of cursing – its place to the clear voice of reason;
in the face of boasting, calm;
over intransigent bellowing, fair play.
- Emyr Lewis
The englynion are inspired by the clarity, precision and elegance of Lord Thomas's judgments, when contrasted with the irrational and anti-rational rhetoric of so much contemporary public discourse.
They make reference to two concepts which have a particular resonance in Welsh, awen and chwarae teg.
Awen is often translated as "muse" or "inspiration" but also has connotations of "moving spirit" or "genius" (in the Latin sense of the word). The awen of Cwmgïedd is portrayed as playing its part alongside the scales and sword of justice in ensuring fairness while keeping the peace, and bringing reason, calm and chwarae teg to bear in the face of strident and hostile voices.
Chwarae teg is a more familiar phrase, which translates literally as "fair play". It differs from "fair play" however, because the latter, certainly in standard English discourse, is largely linked to fairness of process, rather than of outcome; natural justice, rather than equity. Chwarae teg covers both concepts, and is reflected in the way the phrase "fair play" is used in colloquial English in Wales. It is a feature of JT's work as a judge.
Notes by Emyr Lewis,
Calligraphy by Ieuan Rees, letterer and carver, Llandybie, Carmarthenshire
Dinner and Presentation on the retirement of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd LCJ
Speech - Lord Thomas Dinner 27.10.2017
Lord Thomas Presentation 2017