George Baker (judge)

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Sir George Gillespie Baker, OBE, QC, PC (25 April 1910 – 13 June 1984) was President of the Family Division (formerly of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division) of the High Court of Justice from 1971-1979 and a Judge in the Division from 1961-1979.[1]

He also served as Assistant Adjutant General on the British War Crimes Executive at the Nuremberg Trials from 1945-1946.[1]

Early career[edit]

George Gillespie Baker was educated at Glasgow Academy; Strathallan School, Perthshire and Brasenose College, Oxford (Hon. Scholarship; Senator Hulme Scholar), where he later became an Honorary Fellow. He received a Call to the bar by the Middle Temple in 1932 and would in later life become Treasurer of the Inn in 1976.[1] At the beginning of the Second World War Baker joined the army and after a brief spell in the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment he was commissioned in the The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in 1940.[1]

War service[edit]

Baker served as Deputy Assistant Adjutant General at the War Office 1941-1942, Assistant Adjutant General with the Allied Force Headquarters 1942-44, Colonel 'A' 15th Army Group, 1945 and Assistant Adjutant General on the British War Crimes Executive at the Nuremberg Trials in 1945-1946.[1] In 1945 he unsuccessfully contested the Southall (UK Parliament constituency) in the United Kingdom general election, 1945 as a Conservative candidate.[1]

Later career[edit]

After the war Baker resumed his career at the Bar, mostly on the then Oxford Circuit.[1] He was Recorder in turn of Bridgnorth (1946-1951), Smethwick (1951-1952) and Wolverhampton (1952-1961).[1] Appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1952, Deputy Chairman of the Shropshire Quarter Sessions from 1954 until 1971 and Leader of the Oxford Circuit for seven years until his promotion to a High Court Judge in 1961.[1] Baker's deep personal integrity was founded on his staunch Presbyterian faith.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Baker, Rt. Hon. Sir George (Gillespie). Who Was Who. 2016 (November 2015 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Jocelyn Simon
President of the Family Division
Succeeded by
Sir John Arnold