Supreme Court justice Lord Alan Rodger of Earlsferry sadly passed away on Sunday at the age of 66 after a short illness.
Lord Rodger was in the first group of 12 Supreme Court justices and was one of the two Scottish judges at the court. The Supreme Court broadcast a tribute today via its new Supreme Court Live service. The transcript can be read here.
It was a pleasure and a privilege to appear before him as a judge. He could spot a weak argument at a hundred paces. But his questioning and testing of counsel’s submissions were at all times courteously done, and always got straight to the heart of the issue. If he had a weakness as a judge it was that in his judgments he would often find on a precedent or a point that had not been raised by either side in argument. But he was almost invariably right on these points, even if reached without the benefit of counsel’s submissions… His untimely death robs us of a great jurist, and of a good man. His passing diminishes all of us who had the privilege to know him and to work with him.
We have highlighted the obituaries and tributes to Lord Bingham yesterday and today. For those interested in a more extensive review of his judicial contributions to the field of administrative law generally, and human rights law in particular, I would recommend an article published by Michael Fordham QC in Judicial Review last year:  JR 103.
This was a paper presented to the Hart Judicial Review Conference in December 2008. As Fordham says:
There is no better way to illustrate and celebrate Lord Bingham’s contribution to administrative law than through his own words. What follows is a tapestry, no doubt just one from many, capable of being woven using strands of Lord Bingham’s judicial analysis, which will for decades to come guide and equip practitioners, academics and judges in the field of public law and human rights.
We posted yesterday on the sad death at age 76 of Lord Bingham of Cornhill, former Lord Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls and law lord. There have been a number of tributes to the highly respected jurist:
Alex Bailin QC, on the UK Supreme Court Blog – this is well worth reading: “Despite having had a largely commercial practice at the Bar, his legal legacy will surely be grounded in the body of human rights jurisprudence which he created from 2000 until his retirement in 2008… Although his Opinions in human rights cases were generally measured in tone, he was undeniably a passionate supporter of the Human Rights Act. In his address (when he was Lord Chief Justice) to the House of Lords during the passage of the Human Rights Bill, he famously quoted Milton’s Areopagitica in support of the proposed progressive reform: “Let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live.”
Updated 13/09/10 | Lord Bingham of Cornhill, a leading judge and legal mind, died yesterday at age 76. He was a huge presence on the legal landscape, and his influence on the rule of law and human rights will be felt for years to come.
A commercial barrister by training, Thomas Bingham became a QC at the tender age of 38. He went on to act both as Master of the Rolls (1992 – 1996) and the Lord Chief Justice (1996 – 2000), as well as serving as a senior law lord from 2000 to 2008.
In a wide-ranging obituary in the Guardian, Philippe Sands says that Lord Bingham was “widely recognised as the greatest English judge since the second world war” and that
This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.