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Supreme Court gets three new faces

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Lady Justice Arden, Lord Justice Kitchin and Lord Justice Sales, appointed to UK’s top bench

The new judicial stars of the Supreme Court have been unveiled. In a statement today, the UK’s highest court confirmed Lady Justice Arden and Lord Justice Kitchin will take up their new judicial roles on 1 October, followed by Lord Justice Sales on 11 January 2019.

So what do we know about our soon-to-be Supreme Court justices?

Arden grew up in Liverpool and studied law at Cambridge’s Girton College, before going on to complete an LLM at Harvard Law School. Called to the bar in 1971, Arden practised commercial law at London’s Erskine Chambers. She became a QC in 1986 and served as Attorney General of the Duchy of Lancaster between 1991 and 1993. Arden served on the Court of Appeal from 2000 to 2018, and happens to be married to Lord Mance, deputy president of the Supreme Court.

The 2018 Chambers Most List

Next up, Kitchin. He studied natural sciences and law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and was called to the bar in 1977. Taking silk in 1994, he was appointed a judge of the High Court’s Chancery Division in 2005 and senior judge of the Patents Court two years later. Kitchin was elevated to the role of Lord Justice of Appeal in 2011 and was responsible for overseeing intellectual property appeals.

Last, but by no means least, Sales. He studied law at Churchill College, Cambridge, and Worcester College, Oxford, and was called to the bar in 1985. Working his way up the ranks, he was made an assistant recorder in 1999, recorder in 2001, and a deputy High Court judge in 2004. Sales — who was a tenant at London’s 11KBW — became a QC in 2006 and was bumped up to the High Court’s Chancery Division in 2008. He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2014.

Commenting on the three new faces, president of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, said:

“I am delighted that the Supreme Court will be joined by three new Justices in the coming months, each of whom has led a distinguished judicial career. I congratulate Lady Justice Arden DBE, Lord Justice Kitchin and Lord Justice Sales on their appointments and am confident that they will each make a significant contribution to the work of the court and the development of the law.”

The appointments follow the retirement of Lord Mance later this month, and Lord Hughes and Lord Sumption in August and December respectively.

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57 Comments

K&E rat

I wonder what they’ll do when a serious criminal appeal arrives on their door step. Hmm.

(9)(18)

Anonymous

Probably review the papers, hear submissions, consult the law and then deliver judgment I would imagine.

(72)(3)

Anonymous

Love this answer. However, how would you feel if a criminal law expert decided on an IP case for example?

(2)(6)

Anonymous

Easy. There is hardly any law in crime and what limited law there is is straightforward. (Plus, there are very few criminal appeals which reach the Supreme Court.) That is why they should not waste a place in the Supreme Court with a criminal practicioner, who will be intellectually second rate and will stop a Commercial or Chancery lawyer from being there who will be able to deal both with criminal cases and the complex civil disputes which end up there.

(23)(16)

K&E rat

You call criminal practicioners ‘intellectually second rate?’ 😀 That’s a first for me.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

K&E needs to stop the denial then.

(0)(1)

BPTC student

Lord Thomas didn’t seem to have had any difficulty adjusting.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Can Rob Rinder and Brenda Hale do a podcast giving Mary Arden a fashion and beauty makeover?

(4)(4)

Anonymous

Super quick for Sales

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Old pal of Tony’s (Blair), ain’t he.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

He is also super good, as you would know if you’d appeared in front of him.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Their job?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Your mum.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Listen carefully to the arguments advanced by counsel, then consider previous decisions, then ask themselves what the right answer is, then give it?

(13)(1)

Not Amused

Did they just misplace Arden’s appointment in the post for 10 years ?

(23)(8)

Anonymous

Another 10 years would be too soon.

(6)(11)

Anonymous

Her husband is Mance (who never sat on an appeal from the CA where Arden was one of the panel). He’s leaving the SC so she can now move up – having a married couple on the SC would have had the diversity crew in a fit.

(18)(1)

Not Amused

Would it?

I think you are right. But I think that the “the diversity crew” need to take a long hard look at themselves.

My country has been denied an SCJ of incredible talent and worth because ‘she had to wait for her husband to retire’.

That is beyond bad.

For ten years “the diversity crew” have lectured on. For ten years an able woman was denied. And I had to listen to them telling me how diverse they were.

I do not swear in life, public or private. But a wrong this bad deserves some venting.

I am so very glad that my country will have Arden in its Supreme Court.

(22)(11)

Anonymous

That is a very sensible comment.

Your understated but powerful and considered support for others of your sex is much appreciated.

(4)(10)

Anonymous

“My country has been denied an SCJ of incredible talent and worth because ‘she had to wait for her husband to retire’.”

I don’t know of a single person who wanted her on the SC. Maybe I’m missing the field she has ‘incredible talent’ in but its not contract, trusts or company, and those are what the is meant to be an expert in.

Much better female LJs if that what you are worried about.

(5)(14)

freshieslitigator

Arden was probably the preeminent company law QC of the 1980s/90s. She has certainly practised at the highest levels of company law, and, to a certain extent, commercial and insolvency lawn as well. She is a former member of Erskine Chambers.

(18)(1)

Pennington v Waine

HAHAHAHAHAAA

(1)(8)

Anonymous

Not having a married couple on the SC is not a “diversity point” – it’s a sensible reaction to a genuine threat to justice. Justice has to be done and be seen to be done. It would not be seen to be done if there were a couple sitting together, as there would always be the possibility that they would be swayed by the other’s view on the case. That’s not sexist. No one had a problem with Mance and Arden never sitting together on the CA, for example. But as there are times when the SC sit as a fully court, the two couldn’t avoid sitting together.

I am a female barrister and feel very strongly about women’s success in the profession, but even I wouldn’t have wanted to risk the constitutional integrity of our court system in order to elevate a woman!

Also NA is a bloke, and it’s dishonest imo that he doesn’t correct commenters who suggest otherwise.

(12)(1)

Anonymous

Cambridge
Cambridge
Cambridge & Oxford

to join a SC that features the following diverse backgrounds; Cambridge, Queens’ (Belfast), Oxford, Oxford, Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Cambridge, Durham, Cambridge, Oxford.

(17)(8)

Anonymous

Agreed. The panel will not be diverse enough unless and until it includes an extra terrestrial who studied at Gasworks Comprehensive.

(51)(7)

Anonymous

Or Hull

(4)(0)

Anonymous

The quality of your education is not your background provided that education is free to all to apply.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

You would expect the most senior judges in the country, to have attended the best universities in the country. I would rather put my faith in someone that doesn’t look like me or hold the same beliefs as me, but who has had the best education and a great career, then to put my faith in someone simply because they look like me or hold the same beliefs that I do.

(22)(7)

Anonymous

I’d rather we begin to work out how to solve the massive diversity issues we have within class divides in this country.

(4)(3)

Anonymous

And all from the barrister route. They need to diversify with more judges from the solicitor route. Plenty would be interested in the top job given the chance.

(2)(24)

Corbyn.Sympathiser

They already have admin people behind the scenes.

(26)(0)

Anonymous

Who? Other than Hickinbottam, no one is at the races at the moment. You can’t sensibly appoint people en masses from private practice. Don’t forget Lawrence Collins made it both to the judicial committee and the Supremes. It can be done, you’ve just got to fugging do it. And be fugging good.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“And all from the barrister route. They need to diversify with more judges from the solicitor route. Plenty would be interested in the top job given the chance.”

A requirement for appointments to the Supreme Court is that all applicants must have held high judicial office for at least 2 years or have been a qualifying practitioner for at least 15 years.

I would really like to know how many high-flying City partners would be eager to trade their very very very fat salaries for one that is probably 3 (or more) times lower, and for a job that requires them to hear a variety of cases on different areas of law on a daily basis.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

But you get put out to pasture quite young in the City. Even if you hang on at the firm you don’t stay an equity partner. There’s actually much more of an incentive to move onto the bench for a very bright partner who is no longer a big rain-maker than there is for a commercial QC who can go on almost indefinitely taking enormous brief fees for scrawling his signature at the bottom of pleadings etc written by his juniors…

(2)(0)

Criminal Hack

And they’re all lawyers too. That can’t be representative. Outrageous.

(36)(5)

Anonymous

Great comment.

(1)(5)

Anonymous

Yawn. Weren’t your A levels good enough, or were you crap in the interview?

(3)(4)

Anonymous

Aye because calling for a more diverse background must mean OP is jealous.

The reality of it is we have major class diversity issues and continuing further the Oxbridge old boys’ network isn’t going to solve that.

(7)(4)

Anonymous

Embarrassing to have anyone who is non-Oxbridge in the country’s top court. Whilst we have always had to put up with the Scottish and Northern Irish judges who are mainly non-Oxbridge but ex officio members of the top court, the intellectual calibre of the House of Lords was much higher than the Supreme Court, with all except those ex officio members being Oxbridge and leading London practitioners. People such as Hughes (Birmingham criminal hack; Durham University) and Black (Leeds family hack; Durham University) would not have got anywhere near the Appellate Committee and rightly so; they would make perfectly solid Circuit Judges.

(8)(16)

Anonymous

What an absolute thunderc*nt

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Isn’t it astonishing that the judges on the highest court, the best of the best, went to the best universities. What on earth do you suggest should be done instead?

(9)(3)

Anonymous

Agreed.

(0)(2)

Clyde

Agreed

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Looking at the list there are three judges from outside Oxbridge. Looks diverse enough to me. If anything a bit too diverse.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

But are they hanging judges?

Privy Council last refused Caribbean death penalty appeal in 2015 (Lady Hale dissenting).

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Lady Justice Arden’s decision on Pennington v Waine is a disgrace

(11)(4)

Anonymous

Hey kids, here’s a tip; when you have to talk about ‘a case what i don’t agree with’ in my pupillage interview, don’t do this one. Or Stack v Dowden. Everyone does these ones. We know you’re all just repeating what your lecturer said about them (because you all say the same thing) and it ain’t a good look.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

They should have appointed Gloster but didn’t because she could only have served for 2 years due to her age; yet Collins only served for 2 years and made a valuable contribution. Instead, the court was lumped with Black, who is vastly intellectually inferior to Gloster.

(8)(2)

Anonymous

Absolutely agree. I think, given the reduction in the retirement age to seventy, demanding a five year return of service is not sustainable. It basically means you have to be on the HC bench by 50 to have a fighting chance of getting to the SC, given how seldom vacancies occur. I suspect this is an unspoken fetter to applying for HC appointment, among several, which explains the huge number of vacancies at the moment (six in the Chancery Division). Allowing people up to the SC with two years left to serve would encourage applications. We have also missed out on some really good people because of the five year requirement, such as Timothy Lloyd, Bernard Rix and very much Liz Gloster. If you doubt this, then bear in mind that Hale is only still there because she is one of the tiny number of judges with a seventyfive retirement. That is not a criticism of Baroness Hale, but a criticism of the reduction in retirement age.

(16)(0)

Alan Blacker

It’s about time they appointed Lord Harley to the Supreme Court. Top lawyer.

(13)(0)

Anonymous

He’s almost a national treasure.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

And the Mozart of the courtroom.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

He is good for my arthritis.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Surely the Privy Arbital Court makes the SC look like a local Mags Court?

(0)(0)

Ciaran Goggins

You rip off the name “Supreme Court” from the Yanks but omit small details such as a Constitution, functioning anglophone democracy and free speech.

(2)(3)

Anonymous

Yeah

Great isn’t it

Suck it up

(0)(0)

Anonymous

You think the Yanks have a functioning democracy?

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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