Sumption, Wilson confirmed as new Supreme Court justices

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  • That is really poor timing. Surely Beresovsky can challenge the involvement of him as an advocate. This is no ordinary heavyweight QC. He has now been annouced as a Supreme Court Judge in waiting, two levels above the Judge before whom they are due to appear. And we mock the Russian version of justice !

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  • Don't be daft. He wouldn't be able to sit on the appeal anyway. Moreoever, it will have been quite apparent to every judge that Sumption has ever apeared in front of that he might one day be promoted above them. He hasn't ever been an ordinary heavyweight QC (many of whom are indeed quite ordinary).

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  • A big slap in the face for those who have given 15 years of public service on the bench earning in a year what Mr Sumption earns in just over a week.

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  • Should our top judges not be brilliant minds at the top of their game rather than dutiful public servants who have simply put in their time?

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  • The whole thing is a disgrace. Even Baroness Deech, the Head of the Bar Standards Board no less, has gone on record to say that it is entirely inappropriate for Sumption to act for Abramovich (see http://lordsoftheblog.net/2011/04/20/law-lords/), stating "how can such a case be heard without any appearance of conflict, if the judge hearing it knows that the barrister presenting arguments to him is soon to be in the Supreme Court, hearing appeals against those lower court hearings?" How indeed?! And that was before the appointment was formally announced. How much worse is the appearance of conflict now that the worst kept secret at the Bar is finally out? This is all particularly disappointing, as Sumption must have applied for the vacant position in the Supreme Court before accepting this most lucrative of briefs and then arranged for his appointment to be deferred. This sordid episode does our legal system no credit at all.

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  • at anon, is there no argument for the fact that he might be a lot better than the people who have given that service?

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  • Obviously Lord Sumption will not hear any appeal in the Berezovsky case. But surely he is instructed in Berezovsky until all routes of appeal have been exhausted. If not (1) there is a danger that he could hear appeals in other matters which make law that the Court of Appeal would have to follow in considering an appeal in Berezovsky (2) it would seem his client is content to instruct him just for the trial then leave the appeals to an "ordinary heavyweight silk". Which would be odd.

    Can we not assume that he might just have thought this through?...

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  • His position is unusual but nothing that cannot be managed (as I am sure it will be). I for one am very grateful for the financial sacrifice he has made by taking the appointment and look forward to the impact he will inevitably bring.

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