News releases

02/2012 - News release

Lord Reed joins Supreme Court, as highest court joins Twitter

06 February 2012
Lord Reed

Lord Reed will be sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court later this morning, taking the judicial bench of the highest court in the land to a full complement of twelve Justices.

The occasion is being marked with the Court's arrival on microblogging site Twitter, as a further way of keeping interested parties updated on the Court's work.

Lord Reed's appointment follows the death of Lord Rodger last year. His arrival sees a continuation of the tradition, begun in the House of Lords, that two of the Court's Justices have comprehensive experience of the Scottish legal system.

Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court, will conduct the brief ceremony in which Lord Reed will take the Judicial Oath and Oath of Allegiance in front of other Supreme Court Justices dressed in their ceremonial robes, as well as friends, family and other guests. It has become tradition for a new Justice to shake hands with each of their fellow Justices in turn, before bowing to them. The bench of Justices will then bow to the new Justice in return.

Lord Reed will begin sitting tomorrow (Tuesday 7 February) among a panel of five Justices sitting as the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council hearing a planning dispute case over the commercial development of 'New Kingston' in Jamaica, in J & O Operations Limited and another; Eloise Mulligan and Grace Wong (Appellants) v. The Kingston & Saint Andrew Corporation (Respondent) and cross-appeal.

The Supreme Court has allowed Tweeting from its courtrooms in most occasions since February 2011, but today marks the first time that the Court itself will 'tweet'. The channel is intended to be used as a simple way of notifying 'followers' of the outcome of judgments and other selected news, as part of the Court's commitment to making its proceedings as accessible as possible.

The brief updates will be sent from @UKSupremeCourt, with the Court's full policy on its use of Twitter


Notes to editors

Lord Reed has been a senior judge in Scotland for 13 years being a Senator of the College of Justice since 1998. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in July 1983 where he did a wide range of civil work. He was appointed to the Bench in 1998. He was promoted to the Inner House in January 2008. During 1999 he sat as an ad hoc judge of the European Court of Human Rights, and has sat in both the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and, more recently, as an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court.

His appointment to the Supreme Court was announced by 10 Downing Street on 21 December 2011.

The swearing-in ceremony begins at 11.30am and lasts around five minutes. It will be broadcast live over the internet through the streaming service offered by Sky News.

Formal photographs of Lord Reed will be available on request from the contacts below, following the ceremony.


Ben Wilson - Head of Communications
020 7960 1887