Carswell rises to top Northern Ireland post

Lord Justice Carswell has been appointed as the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

He will replace Sir Brian Hutton, who is leaving the post to become a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.

The changeover is reported to have come as a surprise to Northern Ireland lawyers. But the choice of successor was no surprise – in the words of one lawyer “he is a very respected judge and a first class lawyer”.

And although he predicted that Lord Justice Carswell would “be respected right across the board”, another lawyer said that he was unlikely to be as approachable as his predecessor.

“He is a lawyer's lawyer. He has a sharp brain and he tends to be one step ahead of counsel.”

“He runs a tight ship in court and is admired, rather than liked, for that. Sometimes it can be a challenge to appear before him.”

Lord Justice Carswell, a Lord of Appeal in Northern Ireland, will be sworn in before the Lord Chancellor at the House of Lords on 6 January 1997.