John Dyson, Lord Dyson

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The Right Honourable
Lord Dyson
Master of the Rolls
Head of Civil Justice
Assumed office
1 October 2012
Preceded by The Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
In office
12 April 2010 – 1 October 2012
Preceded by The Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
(as Lord of Appeal in Ordinary)
Succeeded by Lord Hughes of Ombersley
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
11 January 2001 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Sir Martin Nourse
High Court Judge
In office
30 March 1993 – 11 January 2001
Personal details
Born John Anthony Dyson
(1943-07-31) 31 July 1943 (age 71)
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Levy
Alma mater Wadham College, Oxford
Occupation Judge
Profession Barrister

John Anthony Dyson, Lord Dyson[n 1] MR (born 31 July 1943) is the Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice, the second most senior judge in England and Wales. He was previously a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2012. He was the first justice, after Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony, to be appointed directly to that court, and the first not to be a peer. However, by Royal Warrant, like all future appointees, he is styled "Lord Dyson" for life.

Early life[edit]

Dyson was educated at Leeds Grammar School and studied classics at Wadham College, Oxford. He was called to Bar at the Middle Temple in 1968, of which he was appointed a Bencher in 1990. He took silk in 1982 and was appointed a Recorder in 1986.

Judicial career[edit]

Dyson was appointed to the Bench of the High Court on 30 March 1993,[3] sitting in the Queen's Bench Division, and received a knighthood. In 1998, he became Presiding Judge of the Technology and Construction Court, a specialist part of the Queen's Bench Division.

On 11 January 2001, Dyson was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal, a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, in succession to Lord Justice Nourse,[4] and was appointed to the Privy Council.[5] In 2003, he was promoted to Deputy Head of Civil Justice.

Dyson was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court with effect from 12 April 2010,[6] and was sworn in on 19 April.[7] His appointment brought the Supreme Court up to full strength by filling a vacancy that had existed since the court began work in October 2009.

According to Standpoint, he was said to have come a "close second" to Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury to succeed Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony as Master of the Rolls in 2009.[8] In the event, Dyson was appointed Master of the Rolls with effect from 1 October 2012[9] as was widely expected following the announcement of Neuberger's appointment (also with effect from 1 October) as President of the Supreme Court in July 2012.[10][11]

Significant judgments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Dyson married Jacqueline Levy in 1970, with whom he has a son and daughter.


  1. ^ It was announced in December 2010 that all members of the Supreme Court are entitled to be called "Lord", even if they do not hold a peerage. Dyson is the first Supreme Court Justice to be given the title.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Courtesy titles for Justices of the Supreme Court" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59746. pp. 6177–6178. 1 April 2011.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 53265. p. 5975. 2 April 1993.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 56092. p. 535. 16 January 2001.
  5. ^ "Orders for 14 March 2001". Privy Council Office. 
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59394. p. 6839. 19 April 2010.
  7. ^ Hirsch, Afua (19 April 2010). "Sir John Dyson sworn in as 12th supreme court justice". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "New Master of the Rolls". Standpoint. 5 July 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 60289. p. 19046. 4 October 2012.
  10. ^ Rozenberg, Joshua (12 July 2012). "Lord Neuberger to be announced as supreme court president". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Baksi, Catherine (12 July 2012). "Neuberger gets top job at Supreme Court". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 14 July 2012.