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Joshua Rozenberg
Wednesday 4th May 2011
Told You So

Belatedly, the Prime Minister has caught up with the announcement I made on March 24 by confirming that Jonathan Sumption QC and Sir Nicholas Wilson will be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Lord Phillips, the court's president, commented: "Lord Justice Wilson will prove a valuable asset to this court as another judge with a family law background". Surely Lady Hale fulfils that role already?

This morning's announcement was made just in time. Wilson was hearing his first case at the court less than half an hour later — though I'm told he would have been sitting as an additional judge even if the appointment hadn't been announced. Might have been a bit of a clue, though.

No hurry with Sumption, though: he'll take up his post "as soon as his existing professional commitments are completed", with no explanation of when that might be. It all depends on whether he's booked to appear in the appeal from the hearing he's doing in the autumn, I suppose.

Writing here in February, I said "It's expected that Jonathan Sumption QC will be appointed to one of the current vacancies in the supreme court". So yah, boo, shucks to paulio84 who said it was not.

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robin towns
May 4th, 2011
5:05 PM
If the Family Division is now well (or even over) represented in the Supreme Court, what about the poor old Chancery Division? With the retirement of Lord Collins (albeit that he is continuing for the time being as an Acting Judge) and his replacement as a Justice by Mr Sumption (not a recognised Chancery practitioner), Lord Walker (who is also a non-permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal, Hong Kong) is on his own.

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About Joshua Rozenberg

Joshua Rozenberg is an independent legal commentator who presents Law in Action on BBC Radio 4.

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