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Sumption withdraws from Supreme Court race

11 December 2009

Jonathan Sumption QC, joint head of Brick Court Chambers, will not become the latest justice of the Supreme Court. The chambers has confirmed that Sumption has withdrawn his application for the post.

It is understood that there was opposition from existing Court of Appeal judges to the idea of a QC being parachuted directly into the court.

Sumption’s appointment as a justice of the Supreme Court would have been virtually unprecedented.

Lord Reid, a Scottish KC, was appointed straight to the appellate committee of the House of Lords in 1948, but he had served as Solicitor General for Scotland and Lord Advocate.

His final post north of the border was dean of the Faculty of Advocates, the Scottish equivalent of chairman of the Bar Council.

Nevertheless, there was a vociferous media campaign in favour of Sumption, a medieval historian.

Lord Justices Carnwarth, Dyson, Rix, Laws and Sedley have all been tipped as contenders for the vacancy created by Lord Neuberger’s decision to step down.

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