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Keynote Speech

Lord Kerr, Justice of the Supreme Court

Lord Kerr shares his thoughts from his career spanning 50 years in Law and offers thoughts on current issues and the impact of Covid-19 on the Courts.

Running time: 50 Minutes

CPD Certificate: 1 hr


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Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, Justice of the Supreme Court

In 1993, Brian Kerr was appointed a Judge of the High Court and knighted, and in 2004 was appointed Lord Chief Justice and sworn of the Privy Council.

As is tradition for the Lord Chief Justice, he succeeded Lord Carswell as the Northern Irish Lord of Appeal in Ordinary upon the latter's retirement.

On 29 June 2009, he was created Baron Kerr of Tonaghmore, of Tonaghmore in the County of Down, and was introduced to the House of Lords the same day. He was the last person to be appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (and therefore the last to be given a law life peerage under the 1876 Act), and on 1 October 2009 he became one of the inaugural Justices of the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. He was also the youngest member, at age 61. He was succeeded as Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland on 3 July 2009 by Sir Declan Morgan.

Lord Kerr dissented from the controversial judgment of the Supreme Court in R v Gnango, in which the court held that a person could be an accessory to their own murder.

In 2014, Ulster University awarded Lord Kerr an honorary doctorate in law.