|The Right Honourable|
Sir Brian Leveson
|Head of Criminal Justice|
Assumed office |
18 October 2017
Sir Ian Burnett|
(As Lord Chief Justice)
|President of the Queen's Bench Division|
Assumed office |
1 October 2013
|Deputy||Dame Heather Hallett|
|Preceded by||Sir John Thomas|
|Lord Justice of Appeal|
2 October 2006 – 1 October 2013
|Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales|
1 January 2007 – 31 December 2009
|Deputy||Lord Justice Goldring|
|Preceded by||Lord Justice Thomas|
|Succeeded by||Lord Justice Goldring|
|5th Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University|
Assumed office |
20 May 2013
|Vice-Chancellor||Prof. Nigel Weatherill|
|Preceded by||Brian May, CBE|
Brian Henry Leveson|
22 June 1949
Liverpool, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom
|Spouse(s)||Lynne née Fishel|
Merton College, Oxford
Leveson was born in Liverpool, on 22 June 1949. He was educated at Liverpool College, a public school in Mossley Hill, Liverpool. He studied at Merton College, Oxford and was President of the Oxford Law Society.
Leveson was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1970. He initially practised in Liverpool and took silk in 1986. Leveson became a bencher in 1995, acted as a Recorder between 1988 and 2000, and as a Deputy High Court Judge between 1998 and 2000. In 2000, Leveson was appointed as a Judge of the High Court, Queen's Bench Division, and served as a Presiding Judge of the Northern Circuit between 2002–2005.
In 2006, Leveson was appointed to the new position of Deputy Senior Presiding Judge and, on 2 October 2006, he was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal. He was promoted to Senior Presiding Judge with effect from 1 January 2007.
Leveson was the lead prosecution counsel during the trial of Rosemary West, who went on to be convicted for the murders of ten young women, including her own eldest daughter, in November 1995. While sitting with Lord Justice Mantell in the Court of Appeal in 2002 under the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, he upheld the murder conviction of James Hanratty. He also presided over the trial of ex-US Marine Toby Studebaker for charges relating to child grooming over the internet. He sentenced 100-year-old Bernard Heginbotham, who was found guilty of manslaughter of his wife of 67 years, 87-year-old Ida, to a 12-month rehabilitation order. He also presided over the trial of Michael Barton, who was found guilty in 2005 of murdering Anthony Walker with an axe.
In November 2007, the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal, constituted by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Leveson and Mr Justice Simon, quashed the conviction of Barry George and ordered a retrial in relation to the murder in 2001 of BBC presenter Jill Dando. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 2000 and sworn as a Privy Counsellor in 2006. On 1 October 2013, Leveson was appointed President of the Queen's Bench Division, succeeding Sir John Thomas.
In 1989 Leveson was the lead prosecution counsel at the trial of comedian Ken Dodd. Dodd was charged with tax evasion, but was acquitted at Liverpool Crown Court, despite seemingly strong evidence.
Press ethics inquiry and News International phone hacking scandal
It was announced on 13 July 2011 that Leveson would lead the public inquiry into issues of British press culture, practices and ethics raised by the News International phone hacking scandal. On 20 July, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the scope of the inquiry had widened to include the BBC and social media.
Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University
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- Phone hacking: Prime minister reveals inquiry powers BBC News, 13 July 2011
- Binham, Caroline (13 July 2011). "Leveson seen as 'steady pair of hands'". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 July 2011.(subscription required)
- "The Rt Hon Lord Justice Leveson". Debretts. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
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- Lord Justice Leveson appointed as Chairman of the Sentencing Council Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Sentencing Council, 16 March 2010
- "No. 58116". The London Gazette. 5 October 2006. p. 13573.
- Bennett, Will (4 October 1995). "Media frenzy as Rosemary West faces murder jury". The Independent. London. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "The horrific secrets of 25 Cromwell Street". The Independent. 7 October 1995.
- "Sir Charles Mantell". The Telegraph. London. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Hanratty conviction upheld". The Telegraph. London. 10 May 2002. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "US marine jailed for abducting internet girl". The Times. Press Association. 2 April 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2011.(subscription required)
- "Wife killer, 100, spared prison". BBC News. 8 July 2004. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "George vs R. EWCA Crim 2722". British and Irish Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
- "Appointment of the President of the Queen's Bench Division". 10 Downing Street. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Wintour, Patrick (20 July 2011). "David Cameron widens inquiry on media regulation to include the BBC". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- "Phone hacking: Cameron widens remit of Leveson probe". BBC News. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- "Background". Leveson Inquiry front page. The Leveson Inquiry. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- BBC News – Leveson report: New body to curb press 'havoc'. BBC.co.uk (1 January 1970).
- "Leveson Inquiry: Culture, Practices and Ethics of The Press". The National Archives. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- "Office of the Vice-Chancellor". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Hornby, Mike (14 March 2013). "Leveson named chancellor of Liverpool John Moores". The Independent. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- "Lord Justice Leveson to lead phonehacking inquiry". The Jewish Chronicle. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- Weston, Alan (14 July 2011). "Liverpool-born judge Lord Justice Brian Leveson to lead inquiry into phone hacking scandal". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 25 July 2011.