False As-sumption?

Francis Gibb reports in The Times today that the expected appointment of Jonathan Sumption QC direct from the Bar to the Supreme Court is strongly opposed by senior judges because he has no experience as a full-time judge.

When I first pointed out a month ago that senior judges would be furious if Sumption were appointed to the current vacancy, readers noted that at least two outstanding post-war law lords — Lord Reid and Lord Radcliffe — were appointed in this way.

Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC, editor of a recent history of of the law lords, also sings their praises.

But that was then (1948/49) and this is now. Sumption’s appointment would not be popular with anyone other than Lord Phillips, president of the Supreme Court. It would be better if Sumption did not apply this time round.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens