Two Scots now hold top jobs in UK Supreme Court

Two of Scotland’s most experienced legal figures now hold the most senior posts at the Supreme Court, after the appointment of Lord Hodge as the institution’s deputy president.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:47 pm
Lord Hodge has been named the new deputy president of the Supreme Court.

The 66-year-old, one of two Scottish justices of the court, will succeed Lord Reed in the role, after the 66-year-old replaced Lady Hale as president earlier this month.

The announcement sparked comment from other veteran legal observers. Lord Anderson of Ipswich tweeted: “The Scots have taken over.”

Joshua Rozenberg, the legal commentator and honorary QC, observed that the “top two posts” were now “both held by judges from Scotland.”

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Lord Hodge, who will be sworn in at a special ceremony at a future date, described the appointment as a “great privilege.”

He said: “It has been a great privilege to have served on the Supreme Court since 2013 and it is a great privilege to have been chosen to follow Lord Reed as deputy president of the court.

“I feel honoured to have this opportunity and look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues from each of the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom in upholding the rule of law.”

The Queen made the appointment on the advice of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Robert Buckland, the Lord Chancellor, following the recommendation of an independent selection commission.

Welcoming Lord Hodge’s appointment, Lord Reed said: “He has made an important contribution to the work of the court since his appointment in 2013, and his previous experience of judicial administration will stand him in good stead as our deputy president. I am looking forward very much to working with him in his new role.”

Lord Hodge became a justice of the Supreme Court in October 2013.

The University of Edinburgh graduate worked as a civil servant at the Scotland Office, before being admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1983 and appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1996.

From 1997 to 2003, he was a part time law commissioner at the Scottish Law Commission. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, in April 2013, Lord Hodge was the Scottish judge in exchequer causes and one of the Scottish intellectual property judges.

He was also a judge in the Lands Valuation Appeal Court and served as a commercial judge.