Lord Phillips, the court’s president, commented: “Lord Justice Wilson will prove a valuable asset to this court as another judge with a family law background”. Surely Lady Hale fulfils that role already?
This morning’s announcement was made just in time. Wilson was hearing his first case at the court less than half an hour later — though I’m told he would have been sitting as an additional judge even if the appointment hadn’t been announced. Might have been a bit of a clue, though.
No hurry with Sumption, though: he’ll take up his post “as soon as his existing professional commitments are completed”, with no explanation of when that might be. It all depends on whether he’s booked to appear in the appeal from the hearing he’s doing in the autumn, I suppose.
Writing here in February, I said “It’s expected that Jonathan Sumption QC will be appointed to one of the current vacancies in the supreme court”. So yah, boo, shucks to paulio84 who said it was not.