All law students in England, meeting the law of torts for the first time, used to study Scott v Shepherd. That was a case decided in 1773 in which a man in a marketplace was struck in the face by a lit firework that put out his eye. The legal rule was — if you toss fireworks, you are liable for blinding a man, even if you didn’t mean to.
In the preliminaries to this week’s meeting in St. Petersburg, the Turkish President, Tayyip Recep Erdogan, has been playing games with fireworks. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, wasn’t closing his eyes. At the conclusion of their meeting in St. Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon, Putin’s eyes revealed more than his mouth about Erdogan’s incendiaries.