Page last updated at 23:09 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 00:09 UK

Profiles: UK Supreme Justices

The newly-formed Supreme Court will consist of 12 of the most senior judges in the United Kingdom. At present, there are only 11 - as one of their original number, Lord Neuberger, has become Master of the Rolls, the senior judge who heads civil justice in England and Wales.

Lord Phillips

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers is the first head of the Supreme Court and the first to take the new judicial oath. Like the rest of his fellow Supreme Court justices, he was one of the Law Lords presiding over cases in Parliament.

From 2005 until 2008, Lord Phillips was the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the head of the judiciary.

Lord Phillips, 71, has been among the most visible of British judges. In the 1990s, he chaired the inquiry into BSE, or Mad Cow Disease. Earlier, he presided over the long and difficult Maxwell pension fund trial.

Lord Phillips has long been regarded as a moderniser. In 2008, following a long debate among judges, he modelled a simplified judicial robe which is now in official use in the civil courts.

When he was Lord Chief Justice, he went undercover to take part in a community service clean-up of a council estate. He said he did it to learn what affect it had on the offenders who were taking part - but also to underline his view that prison was not always the way to rehabilitate criminals.

Lord Hope

The second most important judge at the Supreme Court is Lord Hope of Craighead. He is one of two judges in the court drawn from the Scottish branch of the United Kingdom's legal system.

Lord Hope, 71, was educated at Edinburgh Academy, Rugby School and Cambridge University. He was an advocate for 24 years and became the Lord Justice General of Scotland in 1989. Seven years later he joined the Law Lords in Parliament.

In 1992, Lord Hope devised guidelines allowing television into Scottish courts - cameras are banned in England and Wales.

The resulting experimental documentary series was largely regarded as helping the public to see justice done - but in practice did not lead to filming becoming a regular part of hearings.

The new Supreme Court is the first British court to allow television to be a permanent feature: almost all of its hearings will be available for broadcast.

Baroness Hale

Baroness Hale of Richmond, 64, was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Lords in 2004. She has had a wide career as not only a judge, but also as an academic and family law reformer.

In 1984 she joined the Law Commission, the official body that advises government on legal reforms.

Her work for the commission directly led to groundbreaking legislation that placed the "best interests" of the child at the heart of decision making from schools to courts.

This simple but radical reform underpinned an enormous shift in how children are dealt with by public bodies and the courts.

Other important legislation relating to her work for the commission includes the Family Law Act 1996, a major reform to divorce.

In 1994, Baroness Hale became the first lawyer in British legal history to make the jump from the academic world to the High Court. Five years later she was promoted to the Court of Appeal.

Lord Saville

Lord Saville of Newdigate is best known as the chairman of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, the most protracted and controversial public inquiries in British legal history.

In 1998, he was appointed to investigate the 1972 shooting of protesters in Londonderry - and his report is still not published.

The 73-year-old judge became a barrister in 1962 after graduating from Oxford. He was made a Queens Counsel in 1975. He became a judge in 1985 and was appointed to the Court of Appeal nine years later. In 1997 he joined the Law Lords.

Lord Rodger

The second Scottish justice at the court, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry has been a Law Lord since 2001. Lord Rodger, 65, studied at Glasgow and Oxford Universities.

He has previously held most of the most senior posts in the Scottish legal system: Solicitor General, Lord Advocate, Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General of Scotland.

In 1992 he became a life peer. Lord Rodger has written on Roman and Scots law and the relationship between the courts, church and constitution.

Lord Walker

Lord Walker, 71, was appointed to the Law Lords in 2002. He was educated at Downside School and Cambridge.

He became a barrister in 1960 and was named a Queen's Counsel in 1982. His judicial career saw him preside at the High Court from 1994.

He joined the Court of Appeal in 1997.

Lord Brown

A Law Lord since 2004, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, 72, studied at Oxford University and became a barrister in 1961.

From 1979 he worked for five years as First Junior Treasury Counsel, a senior lawyer who provides complex legal advice to the government.

He became a High Court judge in 1984 and eight years later joined the Court of Appeal.

Lord Brown is one of a number of senior judges who have professional legal links to the secret world of the UK's intelligence agencies. He was the president of the Security Service Tribunal, the Intelligence Services Tribunal and an Intelligence Services Commissioner.

Lord Mance

Lord Mance joined the Law Lords in 2005 and was a Court of Appeal judge from 1999.

Lord Mance, 66, studied at Oxford University, joined a Hamburg law firm and specialised in commercial law.

He first became a recorder, or junior judge, in 1993 and chaired various banking appeals tribunals. He remains a member of the government's advisory body on private international law.

Lord Mance has also worked on enforcing laws and protecting human rights in the troubled Great Lakes region of Africa.

Lord Collins

A graduate of Cambridge and Columbia University, New York, Lord Collins of Mapesbury was the first Law Lord to come from the solicitor branch of the British legal system, rather than having first been a barrister.

Lord Collins qualified as a solicitor in 1968 and became a partner in a City firm specialising in international law.

In 1997 he became one of only two solicitors to be appointed Queen's Counsel and joined the High Court the same year. In 2007 he became a Court of Appeal judge.

Lord Kerr

The former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore was the last Law Lord to be appointed before the creation of the Supreme Court.

Lord Kerr studied at Queen's University Belfast and became a Northern Ireland barrister in 1970. He was called to the bar in England and Wales in 1974.

In 1993 he became a High Court Judge and Lord Chief Justice in 2004.

Lord Clarke

Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony is the first justice to be appointed directly to the Supreme Court without having first sat as a Law Lord.

For 27 years he specialised in maritime and commercial law and conducted the inquiries into the 1989 Marchioness and Bowbelle disaster on the River Thames, in which 51 people drowned.

In 1985 he was appointed as a recorder and sat in both criminal and civil courts. He joined the High Court in 1993 and, in the same year, became the Admiralty Judge, responsible for the administration of maritime law.

Lord Clarke joined the Court of Appeal in 1998 and, in 2005, was named Master of the Rolls.

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