Scottish judge will join the top table

Lord Hodge will also sit on the Privy Council. Picture: contributed
Lord Hodge will also sit on the Privy Council. Picture: contributed
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A SCOTTISH judge has been sworn into the Supreme Court – the highest court in the UK.

Lord Hodge was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, following the recommendation of an independent selection commission.

He took the Judicial Oath and Oath of Allegiance before ten of his fellow Justices of the Supreme Court, all dressed in ceremonial black and gold robes. The Justices then processed to Westminster Abbey for the service marking the opening of the legal year in England and Wales.

Lord Hodge, who has sat in both the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh, will replace Lord Hope, one of the two Scottish Justices, who retired in June after 17 years’ service with the House of Lords and the Supreme Court.

Lord Hodge’s appointment continues the long-standing convention that at least two of the court’s justices should have comprehensive experience of the Scottish legal system.

Lord Hodge, who is best known recently for consenting to the liquidation of Rangers Football Club, said: “I am very honoured to have the opportunity to serve as a member of the Supreme Court. I look forward to working with my colleagues from the three jurisdictions of the United Kingdom.”

Born Patrick Stewart Hodge on May 19, 1953, he attended school in Perthshire before studying Law at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh. He worked as a civil servant between 1975 and 1978 before being admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1983. This was also the year he married Penelope Jane Wigin, with whom he went on to have two sons and a daughter.

He served as Standing Junior Counsel to the Department of Energy from 1989 to 1991, and to the Inland Revenue from 1991 to 1996, in which year he took silk. From 1997 to 2003 he was part-time commissioner on the Scottish Law Commission, while also serving as a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey, and Procurator to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland between 2000 and 2005.

Lord Hodge was appointed a Senator of the College of Justice in 2005. He will first hear a case from Scotland concerning mental health legislation next week. He also has a new role sitting on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The committee serves as the court of final appeal for the UK overseas territories, Crown dependencies and for some Commonwealth countries.

Lord Hodge is also member of Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society and was a Governor of Merchiston Castle School between 1998 and 2012.

Speaking of the appointment of Lord Hodge, alongside Lord Justice Hughes and Lord Justice Toulson, president of the Supreme Court Lord Neuberger said: “The three names which have emerged represent a talented trio of judges, all of whom are jurists of the highest calibre.”