Top 3 Most Influential Lord Justices in Modern Times

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Top 3 Most Influential Lord Justices in Modern Times

Lord Justices are some of the most influential people in our society, and with good reason. These judges make decisions on a daily basis which can affect both personal lives as well as criminal proceedings for crimes committed across Great Britain!

Here we introduce you to the three most influential lord/lady justices in modern times.

  1. Lord Justice Denning, the ‘Judge of the People’

Lord Justice Denning, the ‘Judge of the People’

Alfred Thompson "Tom" Denning, son of a cloth merchant, was born in Whitchurch, Hampshire, in January 1899.

During his 38-year career as a judge, he made significant changes to common law, especially in the Court of Appeal. Although many of his decisions were overturned by the House of Lords, they were supported by Parliament, which approved the statutes.

He was appointed Lord Justice in 1948 after serving less than five years in the High Court. Frequently controversial, Lord Denning never went beyond the Master of the Scrolls, the third-largest legal appointment after Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor. Still, his influence on the law was unmatched during his lifetime.

Some of his landmark cases include Central London Property Trust Ltd v. High Trees House Ltd which changed modern contract law. Here, Lord Denning brought back the principle of promissory estoppel that prevents a party from going back on a promise to someone who relied on the promise and acted upon it.

  1. Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond (“Lady Hale”)

Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond (“Lady Hale”)

Lady Hale was the first woman appointed to the Judicial Commission, the first female lord, and the first female Chief Justice.Some of her landmark cases includes Stack v Dowden, where her famous interpretation of quantifying interest of ownership of a property that is owned by a couple has inspired academic articles and court judgments.The case has open a possibility where even if one partner has contributed all of the finance towards the purchase of a property, they cannot stake sole ownership of the property as the other partner may have equally contributed bymaintaining this property.

Outside of law, Lady Hale has spoken openly throughout her career about sexism in the judiciary and lack of diversity in general.Moreover, she has spoken out about the cost cuts, creating "serious difficulties" for the justice system and criticized press attacks on the judiciary, including an infamous headline in the Daily Mail where three high-ranking judges were branded as "enemies of the people."

  1. Lord Justice Leggatt

Lord Justice Leggatt

On 21st April 2020 the Rt Hon Lord Justice Leggatt (Sir George Leggatt) was sworn in as Justice of the Supreme Court.

One of the most important contributions Lord Leggatt made to the UK judiciary was his stance on good faith. In the UK judiciary system, good faith is not recognised as an ‘overriding principle’. This is because it moves away from the ‘case by case approach’ that the English courts have used for constructing a commercial claim.His comments on Landmark commercial law cases, Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Societyand Arnold v Britton supported his argument that court should favour parties who were honest and therefore demonstrated good faith when completing their contractual obligations.

Lord Leggatt proposed that while dealing with presumed intentions of the parties who have breached a contract, the court should expect from the outset that the contracted parties knew that they were working towards completing their contractual obligations with honesty.



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