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Dyson LJ to become Justice of the Supreme Court

23 March 2010

Lord Justice Dyson is to become the twelfth Justice of the Supreme Court, the prime minister has announced today.

Dyson LJ was presiding judge of the Technology and Construction Court from 1998 to 2001, when he was appointed to the Court of Appeal.

The appointment will take effect on 13 April 2010, but it is unclear whether the new arrival will become a lord, like the other male Supreme Court judges, or be known as ‘Sir John Dyson’.

The prime minister’s announcement, approved by the Queen, brings to an end the long-running saga over whether a talented QC should be ‘parachuted’ into the Supreme Court to bolster its intellectual resources.

Media speculation centred on Jonathan Sumption QC, joint head of Brick Court chambers, who withdrew his application at the end of last year (see 11 December 2009).

It was understood that there was strong opposition from the Court of Appeal judges at the idea of appointing a QC. Lord Justices Carnwarth, Rix, Laws and Sedley were tipped for the post, alongside Lord Justice Dyson.

Dyson LJ, who is 66, was deputy head of civil justice between 2003 and 2006.

Lord Phillips, president of the Supreme Court, said he enjoyed working with Lord Justice Dyson at the Court of Appeal and had “great admiration for his abilities”.

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