John Thomas, Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd
|Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales|
1 October 2013
|Preceded by||The Lord Judge|
|President of the Queen's Bench Division|
3 October 2011 – 1 October 2013
|Deputy||Dame Heather Hallett|
|Preceded by||Sir Anthony May|
|Succeeded by||Sir Brian Leveson|
|Lord Justice of Appeal|
14 July 2003 – 3 October 2011
22 October 1947 |
Wales, United Kingdom
|Alma mater||Trinity Hall, Cambridge, University of Chicago|
Early life and education
Thomas was born in 1947 to Roger Edward Laugharne Thomas and his wife Dinah Agnes Thomas, of Cwmgiedd.
He was educated at Rugby School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated BA. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity Hall in 2004. He proceeded to the University of Chicago where he graduated JD and was a Commonwealth Fellow.
He was an assistant teacher at Mayo College, Ajmer, India, from 1965–66.
Thomas was called to the Bar in 1969 (Gray's Inn). He became a Queen's Counsel in 1984 and was appointed a Recorder in 1987. He practised as a member of the commercial chambers at 4 Essex Court in the Temple, which in 1994 moved to Lincoln's Inn Fields and has since then been known as Essex Court Chambers.
On 11 January 1996, he was appointed a High Court judge, receiving the customary knighthood, and was assigned to the Queen's Bench Division, serving on the Commercial Court until his appointment to the Court of Appeal. On 14 July 2003, Thomas became a Lord Justice of Appeal and given the customary appointment to the Privy Council later that year. He served as the Senior Presiding Judge from 2003 to 2006, and President of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary from 2008 to 2010.
In October 2008, Thomas was appointed Vice-President of the Queen's Bench Division and Deputy Head of Criminal Justice. On 3 October 2011, he succeeded Sir Anthony May as President of the Queen's Bench Division.
On 1 October 2013, Thomas was appointed to succeed Lord Judge as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. On 26 September 2013, it was announced Thomas would become a life peer upon taking office as Lord Chief Justice. He was created a Life Peer on 4 October 2013, taking the title Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd, of Cwmgiedd in the County of Powys. Following his introduction, as a member of the judiciary he was immediately disqualified from sitting in the House of Lords under the terms of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.
Thomas is one of the Founding Members of the European Law Institute, a non-profit organisation that conducts research, makes recommendations and provides practical guidance in the field of European legal development with a goal of enhancing the European legal integration.
He is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and a Fellow of the Universities of Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Swansea and Bangor and an Honorary Doctor of Law of the Universities of Glamorgan, the West of England and Wales.
- "Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales – The Rt Hon Lord Thomas". Judiciary of England and Wales. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012.
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- The London Gazette: . 17 January 1996.
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- The London Gazette: . 18 July 2003.
- Rozenberg, Joshua (12 October 2012). "A Who's Hughes of the number twos". The Telegraph.
- The London Gazette: . 6 October 2011.
- "Appointment of the Lord Chief Justice" (Press release). Gov.uk. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Peerage for the new Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales". Gov.uk. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 7 October 2013.