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New appointment to the UK's top appeal court

New appointment to the UK's top appeal court

Lord Justice Stephens will join the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom as a Justice on 1 October 2020, it was announced today

25 August 2020

Lord Justice Stephens
Lord Justice Stephens

Her Majesty The Queen made the appointment on the advice of the Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor, following the recommendations of an independent selection commission.

Lord Reed, President of the Supreme Court, today welcomed the appointments saying:

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome the announcement of Lord Justice Stephens's appointment as a Justice of the UK Supreme Court.

"We look forward to his making a significant contribution to the work of the Court and the development of the law, drawing on the extensive experience which he has gained from a distinguished judicial career."

This appointment will follow the retirement of Lord Kerr, on 30 September 2020.

Lord Justice Stephens

Sir Ben Stephens was educated at Manchester University. He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1977, the Bar of England and Wales in July 1978 and to the Bar of Ireland in 1996.

He took Silk in 1996. He was a senior member of the Government Civil Panel of Counsel from 2004 to January 2007.

He held a number of positions at the Bar including Vice Chairman of the Executive Council of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland and Vice Chairman of the General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland.

He was appointed as a High Court Judge in Northern Ireland in 2007. He was assigned to the Family Division from 2008 and to the Queen's Bench Division from 2014.

He was Hague Convention Liaison judge for international cases involving child abduction between 2008 and 2014.

He was a judge of the Tax and Chancery Chamber of the Upper Tribunal 2013 to 2017 and he is Chairman of the Council of Law Reporting for Northern Ireland.

Since June 2013 to date he has been a Commissioner in the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission first as a High Court Judge and then as a Lord Justice of Appeal.

He was appointed Senior Lord Justice of Appeal in September 2017.

Notes to editors

The appointment was announced today by 10 Downing Street. The official announcement can be viewed on the GOV.UK website via the following link:

A detailed description of the appointments process for Justices is available on the Supreme Court website via the following link:


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