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Harry Woolf, Baron Woolf

From Academic Kids

Henry Kenneth Woolf, Baron Woolf, PC (born May 2, 1933), is the current Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales,but will retire effective October 1,2005.The Constitutional Reform Act made him the first Lord Chief Justice to be President of the Courts of England and Wales,and the most senior judge in the United Kingdom instead of the Lord Chancellor.

The son of a builder and architect, Woolf attended Fettes College in Edinburgh and the studied law at London University. He became a barrister in 1954, a High Court judge in 1979, a Law Lord in 1992, and Master of the Rolls in 1996. He succeeded Lord Bingham of Cornhill as Lord Chief Justice in 2000.

He has been outspoken in this job. In 2004 in a speech at the University of Cambridge, he spoke out against passing the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which will create a Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to replace the House of Lords as the final court of appeal, and severely questioned the Lord Chancellor's and the Government's handling of recent constitutional reform.

He was also the head of the committee that reformed civil law and excised many of the remaining Latin terms from English law, in an attempt to make it more accessible (such as changing the ancient word 'plaintiff' to the comparatively unexciting 'claimant'). The Civil Procedure Rules 1998 are a direct result of his work.

He is a supporter of prison reform.

External links

  • [BBC Biography]
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