A press release from 10 Downing Street on 20 December 2012 confirmed that Lord Reed has been appointed as a Justice of the UK Supreme Court to take the place of the late Lord Rodger of Earlsferry as one of the Scots law judges. At the same time Lord Justice Carnwath of the English Court of Appeal was also appointed to the Court, to succeed Lord Brown when he retires in April 2012.
The UK Supreme Court's own press release reads as follows:
The appointment of Lord Reed and Lord Justice Carnwath CVO as new Justices of the Supreme Court has today been welcomed by Lord Phillips, President of the Court.
Lord Phillips said:
“The independent selection commission were faced with a very strong field of candidates who applied following open advertisement of the vacancies. Lord Reed brings depth of experience in Scots law and practice, as well as insights into the work of the European Court of Human Rights. Lord Justice Carnwath’s range of experience as a senior judge is complemented by his Chairmanship of the Law Commission, his work reforming the tribunals system and his service as the first Senior President of Tribunals. As I near the end of my time as President of this court, it is encouraging to be welcoming colleagues of such high calibre and I am only sorry I will not have longer to work alongside them.”
The two appointments follow the death of Lord Rodger in June 2011 and the forthcoming retirement of Lord Brown in April 2012.
The appointments were made by Her Majesty The Queen at the advice of the Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor, following the recommendation of an independent selection commission. The commission consulted across each of the Supreme Court’s three UK jurisdictions before making their recommendations.
Lord Reed said:
“I am honoured by my appointment as a member of a court which has a world-wide reputation and influence, and whose decisions affect all parts of the United Kingdom. I am conscious of the responsibility which that entails.”
Lord Justice Carnwath said:
“It is a great honour to be selected for the Supreme Court. I see it also as recognition of the central importance in the justice system of the tribunals judiciary, whom I have been privileged to lead as Senior President for the last seven years.”
The 10 Downing Street announcement includes biographies of the two appointees.
Meantime in The Times newspaper of the same date the redoubtable Lord McCluskey fires off a few rounds in the direction of the Supreme Court, the cause of his ire being what he sees as the Court's supine attitude to the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in Scots law matters, contrasting with the more robust defence of English law when it is in the dock at Strasbourg. Lord Reed may consider himself duly warned.