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Justices named for Rwanda appeal
And what two retired chief justices will be doing this autumn
The UK Supreme Court has named the five justices who will hear the Rwanda appeal early next month. The Home Secretary, who argues that Rwanda is a safe third country for asylum-seekers arriving in the UK, is seeking to overturn a majority finding to the contrary by the Court of Appeal in June. There are cross-appeals on other grounds by some of the original claimants. A three-day hearing begins on 9 October.
The appeal will be heard by the five most senior members of the court:
Lord Reed (president)
Lord Hodge (deputy president)
Reed’s decision not to bring in anyone from lower down the hierarchy neatly forestalls any claim that he has picked colleagues on the basis of their political views.
Not that he has quite so many to choose from. When Lord Kitchin formally retires at the end of next week, the court will be down to 11 members unless Kitchin’s successor is announced in the meantime.
The candidates — all of them female, I believe — were interviewed on 17 July, just before the summer break. They were told that “the statutory consultation process following interview can be lengthy and that the final outcome of the competition is unlikely to be known before September 2023”. So there’s still time.
As others observed on Friday, no hearings have been allocated to the incoming justice in the court’s autumn list. But that does not mean she will be sitting on her hands. The current list looks quite sparse to me — even though some of the justices will be sitting as the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council — and more hearings may be added later.
Meanwhile Lord Burnett of Maldon, the lord chief justice of England and Wales who retires from the full-time judiciary next week, will be doing a couple of freelance shifts at the Supreme Court at the end of November, providing much-needed expertise on extradition law.
This autumn, his predecessor Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd will be delivering the prestigious Hamlyn lectures — the 75th in a series that was launched in 1949 by Lord Denning (as then he wasn’t).
The theme of this year’s lectures is Laws for a nation and laws for transnational commerce. Where is the line drawn?
Hamlyn lectures are always open to all and most lectures are held outside London. The hosts often provide refreshments.
Here are the details of this year’s lectures.
1: Law for a Nation – Wales
Thursday 5 October 2023, 18:30-19:45
Venue: Law Building, University of Cardiff, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX
Register at Eventbrite
2: Law for Commerce: English Commercial Law as a System for Transnational Commerce
Wednesday 1 November 2023, 18:00-19:00
Venue: Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
Register at The Hamlyn Lectures 2023
3: The Development of Transnational Law for Commerce and the Continued Role of English Law
Tuesday 7 November 2023, 18:00-19:00
Venue: Guildhall, London EC2V 7HH
No registration details provided
I am a member of the committee that organises the Hamlyn lectures.
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