Lord Phillips to head east after Supreme Court

Retiring Supreme Court president Lord Phillips will take on two senior international judicial roles, it has been announced.

Phillips SCJ will succeed Lord Woolf for the third time in his career, this time as president of the Qatar International Court & Dispute Resolution Centre.

The Qatar court was established by His Highness The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani in 2009 to provide a specialist court with international expertise in dispute resolution. A Regulatory Tribunal was also established to act as an appeal body from decisions of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. The announcement of Phillips SCJ’s new role was made at the Qatar Law Forum at the weekend.

Phillips SCJ has also been recommended by Hong Kong’s judicial officers’ recommendation commission for the role of non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong. The position is expected to be endorsed by the Legislative Council shortly.

Currently, there are six non-permanent Hong Kong judges and 13 non-permanent common law judges. In hearing and determining an appeal, the Court of Final Appeal is constituted by five judges – the Chief Justice, three permanent judges and one non-permanent judge either from Hong Kong or from another common law jurisdiction.

Phillips SCJ retires from the Supreme Court at the end of September.

Lord Woolf preceded Lord Phillips as both Master of the Rolls (1996-2000) and Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (2000-2005), roles undertaken by Lord Phillips between 2000-2005 and 2005-2008 respectively.

The process of appointing a new Supreme Court president is ongoing, with Phillips SCJ on the recruitment panel (4 April 2012). The successful applicant will earn a salary of £215,000 a year. Those amongst the front runners to replace Phillips SCJ are thought to include Lords Hope, Dyson, Mance and Neuberger.