Dame Sue Carr has been appointed the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 1 October 2023.
His Majesty The King has been pleased to approve the appointment of Dame Sue Carr as the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 1 October 2023. This appointment follows the retirement of The Rt Hon. the Lord Burnett of Maldon on 30 September 2023.
Dame Sue Carr was called to the Bar in 1987. As a barrister she specialised in general commercial law and took silk in 2003. She became Chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association in 2007, Chair of the Bar Standards Board Conduct Committee in 2008, and was appointed as the Complaints Commissioner to the International Criminal Court in the Hague in 2011.
Her judicial career began in 2009 in crime, when she became a Recorder. She was appointed to the High Court, Queen's Bench Division in 2013, and became a nominated Judge of the Commercial Court and the Technology and Construction Court in 2014. In the same year she became a member of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal until 2016. She became a Presider of the Midland Circuit in 2016 until 2020, when she was appointed as a Lady Justice of Appeal. In the same year she was also appointed as the senior Judicial Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission, a position she held until January 2023.
Dame Sue Carr was educated at Wycombe Abbey School and read law at Trinity College Cambridge.
The appointment of the Lord Chief Justice is made by His Majesty The King on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel chaired by Helen Pitcher OBE, Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission . The other members were Lord Lloyd-Jones of the Supreme Court, Sue Hoyle OBE and Sarah Lee (lay and professional members of the Judicial Appointments Commission), and Lord Justice Edis (Senior Presiding Judge).
This selection exercise was run under the relevant sections of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013. In accordance with section 70 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, the panel determined the selection process to be followed and consulted the Lord Chancellor and the First Minister of Wales on the process followed.
In accordance with s.10(3) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 c.54, the selection exercise was open to all applicants who satisfied the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis, or were judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, or High Court.
Given the challenges of reducing the outstanding caseloads across jurisdictions and the drive for modernisation across the Courts and Tribunals, candidates were expected to be able to serve for at least 4 years.