Dyson Cleans Up

Sir John Dyson has been appointed to the Supreme Court. He will be promoted from the Court of Appeal at the start of the new term on April 13.

This strikes me as an excellent appointment and one that is long overdue. The vacancy that Lord Justice Dyson is filling was confirmed as long ago as last July, when Lord Neuberger was appointed Master of the Rolls.

When I published the names of the four shortlisted candidates, shortly after they had been interviewed on January 23, I tipped Lord Justice Dyson as the favourite. What I cannot understand is why it should have taken two months to confirm the selection panel’s choice.

Dyson, 66, was runner-up in the previous round of appointments to the Supreme Court. He also came a close second when Neuberger was chosen as head of civil justice.

With his broad commercial experience, Dyson will fit well into the Supreme Court. A charming, courteous family man and a first-rate pianist, Dyson thinks deeply but is never pompous or overbearing.

He will be the first member of the court not to become a peer on appointment. Long ago, I was told that future members of the Supreme Court would be given the honorary title of “Lord”, like judges of the Court of Session in Scotland. But I have seen no announcement to this effect. Surely the Queen must have given her approval by now?

Uodate: Some more-than-usually bland comments were issued by the Supreme Court this afternoon.

Lord Phillips, president of the Supreme Court said:

I welcome the announcement of  Sir John Dyson’s appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court – the second Justice to be appointed direct to the Court since our opening last October.

I much enjoyed working with Sir John in the Court of Appeal (England & Wales) and have great admiration for his abilities.  I and all the Justices look forward to working with him here.

Lord Justice Dyson said:

I am honoured and delighted to be appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court and am excited by the challenge of joining such a distinguished court and the prospect of deciding the most important legal issues of the day.

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