UKSC’s Newest Member

Leading London barrister Jonathan Sumption (now Lord Sumption) was sworn in last week as a member of the United Kingdom’s highest court, the first barrister in 50 years to be appointed to the jurisdiction’s top court without having served as a full time judge.

My SLAW post on 14 November last reported on a speech Sumption made about that time on the dangers of the widening scope of judicial review.

He returned to that topic in his recent interview with The Times, warning judges to keep out of politics.

Sumption also spoke of his views on judicial appointments. He opposes any change to the principle of appointment on merit alone to increase the number of women or other under represented groups. (Only one of the eleven members is a woman.) He questions American style Parliamentary scrutiny of judicial candidates, but points out that if judges are involved in reviewing policy, pressure for input into their selection will inevitably follow.

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