The Judicial Individuality of Lord Sumption

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This article scrutinises the role of the individual judge on the United Kingdom Supreme Court through an analysis of the jurisprudence of Lord Sumption JSC. The examination of the Court’s recent decisions demonstrates that his Lordship is a leading figure on the Supreme Court. It is argued that key cases and extra-curial speeches mark Lord Sumption as a proponent of judicial conservatism, and two 2016 case studies from private law are used to develop this thesis: Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42 on the defence of illegality and Willers v Joyce (No 1) [2016] UKSC 43 on the tort of malicious prosecution. The article concludes that the study has broader implications for the dynamics of judging, both individually and collectively, in a court of final appeal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-896
Number of pages35
JournalUniversity of New South Wales Law Journal
Issue number2
Early online date31 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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