Downing Street confirms appointment of four appeal judges

The Court of Appeal is to welcome four new appellate justices next term after the latest round of promotions by Downing Street.

Of the four new Lord Justices of Appeal, three have climbed the judicial ladder via the Queen’s Bench Division (QBD).

The appointees are: Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, currently deputy chair of the boundary commission for Wales, who will take up post as chairman of the Law Commission; Mr Justice McCombe, who was appointed to the QBD in 2001; the former Presiding Judge of the Midland Circuit Mr Justice Treacy; and Mr Justice Beatson.

All four appointees have presided over groundbreaking cases in recent years. In April Lloyd Jones J, ruling with Lord Justice Moore-Bick in a dispute over the powers of the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), ruled that the tribunal should have the power to strike off a lawyer who had broken the code of conduct (3 April 2012).

McCombe J was the ruling judge in a key decision that allowed four Kenyans to pursue claims against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) over allegations that they were victims of British atrocities committed during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s (21 July 2011).

Treacy J, meanwhile, presided over the trial of Gary Dobson and David Norris for the racially aggravated murder of Stephen Lawrence while Beatson J was primarily an academic until being appointed to the QBD in April 2003. He was the presiding judge for Birmingham when it was announced that the city would get a new court.

The appointments will take effect from 1 August.

It comes as the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and the Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke MP announced the appointment of three presiding judges of the circuits.

Mr Justice Singh has been appointed to the South Eastern Circuit, succeeding Mr Justice Saunders; Mrs Justice Sharp is appointed to the Western Circuit, succeeding Mr Justice Field; and Mr Justice Globe has been appointed to the North Eastern Circuit, succeeding Mr Justice Openshaw. All three have been elevated from the QBD.

The judges will begin a three-year term on 1 January 2013 when the current presiding judges step down.