Biographies of the Justices
President of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
Lord Neuberger becomes the second President of the Supreme Court since it was opened by Her Majesty the Queen in October 2009 to replace the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. He previously held the post of Master of the Rolls from 1 October 2009.
Born on 10 January 1948, Lord Neuberger was educated at Westminster School, later studied Chemistry at Christ Church, Oxford. After graduating he worked at the merchant bank, N M Rothschild & Sons from 1970-1973 until he entered Lincoln’s Inn and was called to the Bar in 1974.
Lord Neuberger was made a Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1987 and became a Bencher for Lincoln’s Inn in 1993. His first judicial appointment was as a Recorder from 1990 until 1996 when he was appointed a High Court judge in the Chancery Division and was then the Supervisory Chancery Judge for the Midland, Wales and Chester and Western Circuits 2000 - 2004.
In 1999 Lord Neuberger chaired the Advisory Committee on the Spoliation of Art (in the Holocaust). Since 2000 he has been a governor of the University of Arts London and in 2003 became the Chairman of the Schizophrenia Trust.
In January 2004 he was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal. He also led an investigation for the Bar Council into widening access to the barrister profession. In 2007 he was made a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and created a life peer as Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury in the County of Dorset.
Deputy President of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Lord Hope of Craighead, KT
Lord Hope of Craighead was appointed Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 1996, and is one of two Scottish Justices of The Supreme Court. He practised at the Scottish Bar for 24 years.
He was educated at The Edinburgh Academy and Rugby School. After national service with the Seaforth Highlanders he studied at Cambridge University, where he read classics, and at the University of Edinburgh, where he read law. In 1965 he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates. He became a Queens Counsel in 1978.
After serving as Advocate Depute since 1978, he was in 1986 elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. In addition he was Chairman of the Medical Appeal Tribunal and the Pensions Appeal Tribunal from 1985 to 1986. In 1989 he was appointed to the Bench direct from the Bar as Lord Justice General of Scotland and Lord President of the Court of Session. In 1992 he broke new ground by permitting an experiment in televising trials in Scottish courts for documentary purposes.
He has been Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde since 1998.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond
Lady Hale became the United Kingdom’s first woman Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in January 2004, after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer, and judge. She is now the first woman Justice of The Supreme Court.
After graduating from Cambridge in 1966, she taught law at Manchester University from 1966 to 1984, also qualifying as a barrister and practising for a while at the Manchester Bar. She specialised in Family and Social Welfare law, was founding editor of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, and authored a pioneering case book on ‘The Family, Law and Society’.
In 1984 she was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law. Important legislation resulting from the work of her team at the Commission includes the Children Act 1989, the Family Law Act 1996, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She also began sitting as an assistant recorder.
In 1994 she became a High Court judge, the first to have made her career as an academic and public servant rather than a practising barrister. In 1999 she was the second woman to be promoted to the Court of Appeal, before becoming the first woman Law Lord.
She retains her links with the academic world as Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Visitor of Girton College, Cambridge, and Visiting Professor of Kings College London. A home maker as well as a judge, she thoroughly enjoyed helping the artists and architects create a new home for The Supreme Court.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Lord Mance
Lord Mance became a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 2005. He was from 1999 to 2005 a Lord Justice of Appeal and from 1993 to 1999 a Judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, where he also sat in the Commercial Court.
Lord Mance read law at University College, Oxford, spent time with a Hamburg law firm and then practised at the commercial bar and sat as a Recorder until 1993. He chaired various Banking Appeals Tribunals and was a founder director of the Bar Mutual Indemnity Insurance Fund.
He represented the United Kingdom on the Council of Europe’s Consultative Council of European Judges from 2000 to 2011, being elected its first chair from 2000 to 2003. He currently chairs the Executive Council of the International Law Association and the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law. He is a member of the Judicial Integrity Group and of the seven person panel set up under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (article 255) to give an opinion on candidates’ suitability to perform the duties of Judge and Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice and General Court.
He served from 2007 to 2009 on the House of Lords European Union Select Committee, chairing sub-committee E which scrutinises proposals concerning European law and institutions. In 2006 he chaired a working group under the auspices of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region, recommending changes in the procedures for enforcement of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and in 2008 he led an international delegation for the same Group and the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights, reporting on the problems of impunity in relation to violence against women in the Congo.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore
Lord Kerr served as Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland from 2004 to 2009, and was the last Lord of Appeal in Ordinary appointed before the creation of The Supreme Court.
Lord Kerr was educated at St Colman’s College, Newry, and read law at Queen’s University, Belfast. He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1970, and to the Bar of England and Wales at Gray’s Inn in 1974.
He served as Junior Crown Counsel from 1978 to 1983, at which point he took silk and served as Senior Crown Counsel from 1988 to 1993. In 1993 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court and knighted. He became Lord Chief Justice and joined the Privy Council in 2004.
Lord Kerr succeeded Lord Carswell of Killeen as Northern Ireland’s Lord of Appeal in Ordinary on 29 June 2009, the last Law Lord appointed before the creation of The Supreme Court.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony
Lord Clarke spent 27 years at the bar, specialising in maritime and commercial law, undertaking a wide variety of cases in these areas. He became a Recorder in 1985, sitting in both criminal and civil courts.
He conducted the Marchioness and Bowbelle Inquiries and was appointed Master of the Rolls in 2005. He is the first Justice to be appointed directly to The Supreme Court.
He was appointed to the High Court Bench in 1993 and in April that year succeeded Mr. Justice Sheen as the Admiralty Judge. He also sat in the Commercial Court and the Crown Court trying commercial and criminal cases respectively.
Appointed to the Court of Appeal in 1998, he was called upon to conduct first the Thames Safety Inquiry and in the following year the Marchioness and Bowbelle Inquiries. On 1 October 2005 he was appointed Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Wilson of Culworth
In 1967, after reading jurisprudence at Worcester College, Oxford, Lord Wilson was called to the Bar of England and Wales; and for the next 26 years, first as a junior and ultimately in silk, he practised almost exclusively in the field of family law.
From 1993 until 2005 he was a judge of the Family Division of the High Court. From 2005 until May 2011 he was a judge of the Court of Appeal.
In May 2011 he became a Justice of The Supreme Court.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Sumption
After reading history at Magdalen College, Oxford, and serving for four years as a history Fellow of the College, Lord Sumption was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1975 and took Silk in 1986. His practice covered all aspects of Commercial, EU and Competition, Public and Constitutional Law.
He was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 1992 and served as a Recorder between 1993 and 2001. He was appointed as a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey in 1995. In January 2012 he became a Justice of The Supreme Court.
Lord Sumption was a Judicial Appointments Commissioner from 2006 to 2011. He is also an accomplished historian.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Reed
Lord Reed is one of the two Scottish Justices of The Supreme Court. After studying law at the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford, he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1983, where he undertook a wide range of civil work.
He served as a senior judge in Scotland for 13 years, being appointed to the Outer House of the Court of Session in 1998 and promoted to the Inner House in January 2008. During 1999 he sat as an ad hoc judge of the European Court of Human Rights.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill, CVO
After studying law at Trinity College, Cambridge, Lord Carnwath was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1968 and took silk in 1985. He served as Attorney General to the Prince of Wales from 1988 to 1994.
He was a judge of the Chancery Division from 1994 to 2002, during which time (1998 to 2002) he was also Chairman of the Law Commission. Lord Carnwath was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2002.
Between 2007 and 2012 he was Senior President of Tribunals and led the planning and implementation of the reforms of the tribunal system following the Leggatt report.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Hughes of Ombersley
Lord Hughes was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1970 and served as a Recorder of the Crown Court from 1985 to 1997. He became a Queen’s Counsel in 1990 and was later appointed a judge of the High Court (Family Division from 1997 to 2003; and Queen’s Bench Division from 2004 to 2006).
In 2006, he was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, serving as the Vice President of its Criminal Division from 2009 until his appointment as Justice of the Supreme Court in April 2013.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Toulson
Lord Toulson was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1969 and became a bencher in 1995. He became a Queen’s Counsel in 1986 and served as a Recorder of the Crown Court from 1987 to 1996. In 1996, he was appointed to the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). He sat in the Commercial Court and in the Administrative Court and was then Presiding Judge on the Western Circuit from 1997 to 2002.
Between 2002 and 2006, Lord Toulson was Chairman of the Law Commission of England and Wales, after which he was appointed to the Court of Appeal of England in Wales in 2007. He has also served on the Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales.
Lord Toulson was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court in April 2013.