President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Lord Reed 2017.png
Incumbent
The Lord Reed of Allermuir

since 13 January 2020
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Style The Right Honourable
My Lord/Lady
(when addressed in court)
Status Chief Justice
Seat Middlesex Guildhall, London
Appointer The Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister
following the Secretary of State for Justice's approval of a recommendation
Term length Life tenure (with a mandatory retirement age[fn 1]); may be removed by Parliament[3]
Constituting instrument Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Part 3, Section 23(5)[4]
Precursor Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Formation 1 October 2009
First holder Lord Reid
as Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Nick Phillips
as President of the Supreme Court (1 October 2009)
Deputy Deputy President of the Supreme Court
Website www.supremecourt.uk

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). The President is not the most senior judge of the judiciary in England and Wales; that position belongs to the Lord Chief Justice.

The current President is Robert Reed, since 13 January 2020.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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 Official portrait of Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers crop 2.jpg The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers 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 Lord David Neuberger Royal Society (cropped).jpg The Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury 10 January 1948
(age 73)
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 Baroness Brenda Hale.jpg The Baroness Hale of Richmond 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 The Lord Reed of Allermuir 7 September 1956
(age 64)
University of Edinburgh
Balliol College, Oxford
11 January 2020 Incumbent 1 year and 7 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

Copyright