President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom


The President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is equivalent to the now-defunct position of Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, also known as the Senior Law Lord, who was the highest ranking among the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (the judges who exercised the judicial functions of the House of Lords).

President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Incumbent
Robert Reed

since 11 January 2020
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
StyleThe Right Honourable
My Lord/Lady
(when addressed in court)
StatusChief Justice
SeatMiddlesex Guildhall, London
AppointerThe Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister
following the Secretary of State for Justice's approval of a recommendation
Term lengthLife tenure (with a mandatory retirement age[fn 1]); may be removed by Parliament[3]
Constituting instrumentConstitutional Reform Act 2005, Part 3, Section 23(5)[4]
PrecursorSenior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Formation1 October 2009
First holderLord Reid
as Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Nick Phillips
as President of the Supreme Court (1 October 2009)
DeputyDeputy President of the Supreme Court
Websitewww.supremecourt.uk

The current President is Robert Reed, since 11 January 2020.

History


From 1900 to 1969, when the Lord Chancellor was not present, a former Lord Chancellor would preside at judicial sittings of the House of Lords. If no former Lord Chancellor was present, the most senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary present would preside, seniority being determined by rank in the peerage. In the years following World War II, it became less common for Lord Chancellors to have time to gain judicial experience in office, making it anomalous for former holders of the office to take precedence. As a result, on 22 May 1969, the rules were changed such that if the Lord Chancellor was not present (as was normally the case), the most senior Law Lord, by appointment as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary rather than peerage, would preside.[5]

In 1984, the system was amended to provide that judges be appointed as Senior and Second Senior Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, rather than taking the roles by seniority. The purpose of the change was to allow an ailing Lord Diplock to step aside from presiding, yet remain a Law Lord.[6]

On 1 October 2009, the judicial functions of the House of Lords were transferred to the new Supreme Court under the provisions of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The Senior Law Lord, Nick Phillips, and the Second Senior Law Lord became, respectively, the President and the Deputy President of the new court. The same day, the Queen by warrant established a place for the President of the Supreme Court in the order of precedence, immediately after the Lord Speaker (the Speaker of the House of Lords).

List of Senior Lords of Appeal in Ordinary


List of Presidents of the Supreme Court


# Image Name Born Alma mater Presidency started Presidency ended Duration Prior senior judicial roles
1 Nick Phillips 21 January 1938
(age 82)
King's College, Cambridge 02009-10-01-031 October 2009 02009-10-01-0330 September 2012 3 years and 0 days Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (2008–2009)
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (2005–2008)
Master of the Rolls (2000–2005)
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (1999–2000)
2 David Neuberger 10 January 1948
(age 72)
Christ Church, Oxford 02009-10-01-031 October 2012 02009-10-01-034 September 2017 4 years and 342 days Master of the Rolls (2009–2012)
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (2007–2009)
Lord Justice of Appeal (2004–2007)
3 Brenda Hale 31 January 1945
(age 75)
Girton College, Cambridge 02009-10-01-035 September 2017 10 January 2020 2 years and 128 days Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2013–2017)
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2009–2013)
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (2004–2009)
Lord Justice of Appeal (1999–2003)
Justice of the High Court, Family Division (1994–1999)
4 Robert Reed 7 September 1956
(age 63)
University of Edinburgh
Balliol College, Oxford
11 January 2020 Incumbent 195 days Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2018–2020)
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2012–2018)
Senator of the College of Justice (1998–2012)

See also


Notes


  1. The mandatory retirement age for judicial offices —including the judges of the Supreme Court— is 70, as introduced in the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993. However, that only applies to judges first appointed to a judicial office after the commencement of the relevant provisions of that Act (31 March 1995). Judges who were appointed before (and have served continuously since) that date have the same mandatory retirement age as was applicable in their office before the Act, which is 75.[1][2]

References