Appointment of Justices (2011-2012)

…For much of the year the Court has operated with only ten full time Justices. The tragic illness and death of Lord Rodger in June 2011 left a significant gap in the Court…

Supreme Court:  Annual Report and Accounts (2011-2012)

….Jonathan Sumption QC was unable to take up his appointment to succeed Lord Collins, until January 2012. Lord Justice Wilson was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court, to replace Lord Saville, on 26 May 2011.

Key Points:

The selection committee was successful to appoint Lord Reed replacing Lord Rodger who died in the office and who was described as: “Lord Rodger was by training a Scots lawyer. But he never took anything at face value, and it was never his position that what Scots law says must always be right. He subjected it to the same searching criticism as any other
system.

Lord Dyson, the corrupt judge who resigned in disgrace, in 2016, along with Lord Reed, participated in the preliminary stages of the selection process for the UK Judge at the European Court of Human Rights; Lord Dyson taking the place of Lord Mance.

Lord Dyson and Lord Wilson of Culworth, two highly corrupt judges ready to mislead others and sell justice, working together in the Supreme Court as Justices from 2011 until 2012.

 

 

Procedure for appointing a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom:

  • In July 2011 a Selection Commission was established to recommend a successor to Lord Rodger, and a successor to Lord Brown who was due to retire in April 2012.
  • The Selection Commission comprised:
    • Lord Phillips as President of the Court
    • Lord Hope as Deputy President;
    • Lord Justice Coghlin representing the Judicial Appointments Commission in Northern Ireland;
    • Sir Muir Russell representing the Judicial Appointments Board in Scotland; and
    • Christopher Stephens representing the Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales.
  • The legislation requires at least one member of a Selection Commission to be a lay member – in this instance there were two.
  • The representatives from England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, were nominated by the Judicial Appointments bodies in the individual jurisdictions, as required by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.
  • The legislation does not prescribe the process that a Selection Commission has to follow, although certain requirements are set out in Section 27 of the Act, including that selection must be on merit.
  • The Selection Commission decided that the vacancy should be advertised and interested and qualified people invited to apply. An information pack was drawn up for potential applicants, which was made available on our website, or by request.
  • The extensive consultation required under the Act, along with the application process itself, does make for a lengthy selection process, but, in this instance, the timetable was shortened so far as possible.
  • During the course of this year a number of steps have been taken to review the selection process for judicial appointmentsgenerally, including those to the UKSC.
  • In November 2011 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) issued a consultation paper on judicial appointments and diversity. Copies were sent to the President and Deputy President and a submission was made about those recommendations which impacted on the UKSC. At the time of writing this report the MoJ had not yet announced its conclusions.
  • In May 2011 the Constitution Committee of the House of Lords instituted an inquiry into judicial appointments. Although they were concentrating on the appointments system in England and Wales, the Committee also examined the process of appointments to the UKSC. Lord Phillips, Lady Hale and Lord Kerr all gave oral evidence to the Committee, and Lord Mance provided written evidence. The Committee’s report was published on 28 March 2012.
  • There has also been continued academic interest in the process of appointments and the relationship with judicial independence and accountability.
  • Justices’ involvement in selection process for international courts:
    • Over the past year the UK Government has had to establish selection processes to nominate a United Kingdom Judge for the European Court of Human Rights, and a United Kingdom Judge for the European Court of Justice.
    • Justices of the Supreme Court have assisted in this process as members of selection panels.
      • Lord Mance, along with Lord Reed when he was a Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland participated in the preliminary stages of the selection process for the UK Judge at the European Court of Human Rights.
      • Lord Mance’s place was subsequently taken by Lord Dyson; but Lord Reed continued following his appointment to the UK Supreme Court.
      • Lord Clarke formed a member of the selection panel to recommend to the Lord Chancellor a candidate to take the post of a UK Judge at the European Court of Justice.
  • Lord Phillips: appointing the next President of the Supreme Court:
    • On 23 April 2011, Her Majesty The Queen announced that Lord Phillips was to be appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry. Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the Queen, and the Order honours those who have held public office or made a particular contribution to national life. Lord Phillips’ investiture was held at Buckingham Palace on 13 June 2011.
    • In October 2011 Lord Phillips announced that he would be retiring as a Justice, and President of the Supreme Court, with effect from 30 September 2012. This is three and a half months earlier than his statutory
      retirement date.
    • …Selection Commission to recommend a successor to Lord Phillips had met for its initial planning meeting and the vacancy had been advertised. That Selection Commission comprises:
      • Lord Phillips and Lord Hope as President and Deputy
        President of the Court respectively;
      • Professor Nichola Rooney representing the Judicial Appointments Commission in Northern Ireland;
      •  Sir Muir Russell representing the Judicial Appointments Board in Scotland; and
      • Christopher Stephens representing the Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales.

On 20 December 2011, a formal announcement was made by the Prime Minister that Lord Reed would replace Lord Rodger. He was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court on 6 February 2012. In addition it was announced on the same day that Lord Justice Carnwath would replace Lord Brown. He was sworn in during April 2012.

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