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General / Thematic: The Individual Judge

The Judicial Individuality of Lord Sumption


James Lee

This article offers a perspective from the United Kingdom (‘UK’) on the position of an individual judge, in order to illuminate the dynamics of judging on a final court of appeal. My aim is to examine the jurisprudence of Lord Sumption, a Justice of the United Kingdom Supreme Court (‘UKSC’). We shall see that, on precedent, Lord Sumption JSC’s view is essentially a conservative one, which perhaps ties into his Lordship’s views on judicial self-restraint more broadly. By ‘conservative’ in this context, I mean cautious about change, rather than any grander political claim.

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(2017) 40(2) UNSWLJ 862: