Press release

Appointment of the President of the Queen’s Bench Division

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Leveson is appointed as President of the Queen’s Bench Division from 1 October 2013.

Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of The Rt Hon Lord Justice Leveson as President of the Queen’s Bench Division from 1 October 2013. This appointment follows the announcement of the appointment of The Rt Hon Sir John Thomas as the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

Notes to editors

Biography

Sir Brian Leveson was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1970. He practised on the Northern Circuit from chambers in Liverpool, across the full range of common law, crime, personal injury and commercial work. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1986, and was a Recorder and a Deputy High Court Judge. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, in 2000, and served as a Presiding Judge of the Northern Circuit. In 2005 he was appointed to the new position of Deputy Senior Presiding Judge and in 2006, following his appointment as a Lord Justice of Appeal, he became Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales.

In 2009, he was appointed Chairman of the Sentencing Council. In July 2011, he was appointed by the Prime Minister as chairman of the public inquiry investigating the culture, practices and ethics of the press and its relationship with the public, the police and politicians: his report was published in November 2012.

He is an honorary fellow of Merton College, Oxford, is the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University and has received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Liverpool.

The appointment

The President of the Queen’s Bench Division presides over the work of the Queen’s Bench Division which includes a range of civil and criminal matters. The Queen’s Bench Division also includes the Administrative Court, which means it has the power to oversee the quality and legality of the decision-making of the lower courts and tribunals and hears applications for judicial review of decisions of public bodies. The work of the division consists of crime, claims for damages in respect of personal injuries, negligence, breach of contract, libel and slander (defamation), non payment of debt and possession of land or other property.

The appointment of the President of the Queen’s Bench Division is made by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel. The selection panel was chaired by Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice. The other panel members were: Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, Sir Andrew Ridgeway, lay member of the JAC, Mrs Stella Pantelides, lay member of the JAC and Dame Valerie Strachan, lay member of the JAC. This selection exercise was run under the relevant sections of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

In accordance with section 70 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, the panel determined the selection process to be followed. As required by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, the Lord Chancellor was consulted as part of the selection process.

In accordance with s.10(3) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 c.54, the selection exercise was open to all applicants who satisfied the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis, or were judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, or High Court.

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