Judicial memoirs range from the deliciously (but perhaps recklessly) indiscreet (Lord Hope) to the hilarious (Lord Brown) to the earnest (Lord Dyson). Lord Justice Keene’s is in the latter category. He says it was written expressly for his grandchildren.

One interesting feature of the book is his description of his move from Chairmanship of the Oxford University Conservative Association to becoming a Labour Party candidate. I suppose this helps impartiality. There is a consideration of many important cases in which he was involved at the Bar or on the Bench, including many airport inquiries. Sir David held a range of positions including Chair of the Judicial Studies Board and the QC Selection Panel. One achievement was the introduction of a gym in the basement of the Royal Courts of Justice.

A chapter is devoted to ‘France and the Blairs’, recording the fact that Tony and Cherie stayed at their magnificent house in the Pyrenees at Saint-Martin-d’Oydes each summer. Sir David records the ‘painful’ fact that some parts of the media made up a story that his ascent to the Court of Appeal was as a result of his friendship with the Blairs, but this was assuaged by a note from Lord Bingham saying that the appointment was ‘the result of a unanimous recommendation by the senior judiciary’. It was, however, felt right by the Keenes that the Blairs should not visit again which they apparently took well.

Sir David retired early but carried on sitting in the Court of Appeal. He tells us that those judges who sit after retirement are known as ‘retreads’ or ‘returned empties’.