Posted: February 18th, 2010 | By: Lisa Snedeker
For centuries, the highest court of the United Kingdom was the House of Lords. And for the past 100 years, a committee of Law Lords has functioned as the country’s highest court and all judges have been appointed by a member of the prime minister’s cabinet.
On Oct. 1, 2009, the former Law Lords became Justices of the new Supreme Court and moved out of the House of Lords section of Parliament to a new separate Supreme Court building. The head of the new Supreme Court is the president,
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers. Lord Phillips will give the keynote address at the Wake Forest University School of Law’s hooding ceremony at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 16, in Wait Chapel.
“With his vast and illustrious experience as a jurist, Lord Phillips brings considerable gravitas to our hooding ceremony," said Dean Blake Morant. "His message will undoubtedly inspire and enlighten, particularly as we continue to witness the meteoric surge in the globalization of law.”
Lord Phillips is one of the most famous and important figures in British law. His legal career began in 1962 as a barrister specializing in maritime law. This career move came after he spent two years serving in the Royal Navy. In 1973, Lord Phillips was appointed Junior Counsel to the Ministry of Defense, as well as to the Treasury in Maritime and Admiralty Matters.
Lord Phillips was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, in 1987. He served in this position, making several famous decisions, until 1995 when he was promoted to the Court of Appeal. In 1999, he was made a Lord of Appeal, and the next year he became the Master of the Rolls. He served as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2005 to 2008.
Beginning in 2008, Lord Phillips briefly served as the Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary until taking his present position in October 2009.
Lord Phillips received his degrees from the Bryanston School, which he has been a Governor of since 1975, and Chairman of Governors since 1981, and King’s College. In addition he holds six honorary degrees.
He lives in Hampstead, London, with his wife, Christylle Marie-Thérèse Rouffiac, and their children. A health enthusiast, Lord Phillips is an active walker and swimmer.
– By Will Johnston