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President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

 

President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Incumbent
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

since 1 October 2012
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer The Queen, on advice of the Prime Minister
Term length Life tenure (until mandatory retirement at age 70); may be removed on the address of both Houses of Parliament[1]
Inaugural holder Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, 1 October 2009
Formation Constitutional Reform Act 2005
1 October 2009
Deputy Lady Hale of Richmond
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the United Kingdom

The President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the head of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The office 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). The current President is Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury.

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.[2] In 1984, the system was amended to provide that judges be appointed 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.[3]

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, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, and the Second Senior Law Lord became President and 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

See also

References

  1. ^ Constitutional Reform Act 2005 c 4 s 33
  2. ^ House of Lords Debates 22 May 1969 c 468–71.
  3. ^ a b House of Lords Debates 27 June 1984 c 914–18
  4. ^ a b c "Obituary: Lord Keith of Kinkel". The Scotsman. 28 June 2002. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 54543. p. 13211. 4 October 2011.
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