Lord Jonathan Sumption said, “But there have been two occasions in my professional life when I have been shaken in my view that it is all just law. One was my only foray, as Counsel, into patent litigation. I will not trouble you with this unhappy story. It persuaded me that chemical patents at least were a remote juridical island, best left to its savage inhabitants.”
“A key risk with specialized courts is the likelihood of excessively technocratic, formalistic and insular jurisprudence that may often be at variance with the general body of law. This concern is more starkly felt in the context of developing countries where a holistic and balanced approach to intellectual property is often critical to fair and equitable justice dispensation.
This is not to suggest unrestrained judicial activism where judges are untethered to statutory structures and the language of precedent and law , but signals a progressive freeing of narrow patent precepts from excessive formalism to situate them more appropriately within the general bounds of law (particularly constitutional and other public law that appropriately protects against the erosion of larger public policy goals, such as the right to health and the right to food security etc).”

Beyond the realm of Family law

One of the advantages of an appellate system is that it allows decisions from a specialized jurisdiction to be reviewed from the outside, “at a distance” if I may echo the title of this address. There will usually be at least one specialist on the appeal panel, both in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. But his or her voice will not necessarily be decisive. The proposition has to run the gauntlet of external scrutiny. This permits a measure of cross-fertilization between different areas of law, which for my part I think profoundly health.
In the last half-century the law of contract has been significantly influenced by concepts derived from public la. The rules for construing patents and deeds, which were once a law unto themselves, have now been more or less integrated into the general body of principle governing the construction of written instruments. Ultimately all of this depends on a willingness on the part of practitioners working in their core areas to look critically at familiar principles and relate them to what is happening elsewhere. Sometimes, distance lends enchantment.”