There is no doubting that Lord Neuberger’s appointment as Supreme Court president has been well received, even if it is a job that a few years ago some thought he would never take up.
In Neuberger’s inaugural speech as Master of the Rolls he slated the proposition of a new court after refusing a seat on the panel, warning: “You muck around with a constitution at your peril, because you don’t know what the consequences of any change will be”.
It turns out that the consequences have been overwhelmingly positive and Neuberger MR has turned from critic to supporter. This latest appointment will seal his place in the judicial firmament.
Only three other judges can claim to have sat in the High Court, Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and then been Master of the Rolls: Lord Denning, Lord Woolf and Lord Phillips. The latter two were also Lord Chief Justices.
Back in April the Supreme Court said it was on the hunt for someone ‘exceptional’, with outstanding leadership, vision and an understanding of the contemporary world, to succeed Phillips as president. They’ve got that in Neuberger.
Now to fill the MR role…
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