Ian Burnett, Baron Burnett of Maldon

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The Lord Burnett of Maldon
Official portrait of Lord Burnett of Maldon crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2022
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
Assumed office
2 October 2017
Nominated byDavid Lidington
Appointed byElizabeth II
Preceded byThe Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
Judge of the High Court
In office
Member of the House of Lords
Assumed office
30 October 2017
Personal details
Born (1958-02-28) 28 February 1958 (age 65)
Worthing, Sussex, England[1]
Alma materPembroke College, Oxford

Ian Duncan Burnett, Baron Burnett of Maldon, PC (born 28 February 1958) is a British judge and the current Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

Early life and education[edit]

Burnett was born on 28 February 1958. He was educated at St John's College, Portsmouth, and studied jurisprudence at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he became an honorary fellow in 2008.[2]

Legal career[edit]

He was called to the bar at Middle Temple in 1980, and became a bencher there in 2001. From 1982, he practised at Temple Garden Chambers, serving as head of chambers from 2003. He was made a QC in 1998. He practised mainly in public and administrative law, acting on the inquiry into the 1987 Kings Cross fire, the inquiry into the convictions of the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven, the inquiries into the 1997 Southall and 1999 Ladbroke Grove rail crashes, and the inquests after the 1997 deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed.[3]

Burnett served as an Assistant Recorder from 1998 to 2000, and then as a Recorder until 2008. He also served as a deputy Judge of the High Court from 2008. He was appointed as a Judge of the High Court in 2008, in the Queen's Bench Division.[3] Burnett was knighted on 7 November 2008.[4] He sat in the Administrative Court and was presiding Judge of the Western Circuit 2011–14. He was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2014, becoming a Lord Justice of Appeal.

It was announced in July 2017 that he would replace Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2 October 2017.[5]

Aged 59, he became the youngest Lord Chief Justice since Lord Parker of Waddington in 1958. On 12 October 2017, it was announced that Burnett would be awarded a life peerage.[6] He was created Baron Burnett of Maldon, of Maldon in the County of Essex, on 30 October 2017.[7][8]

In November 2022, he announced his intention to stand down from his role as Lord Chief Justice from 30 September 2023.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He married Caroline Ruth Monks in 1991, and they have one son and one daughter.[2]


  1. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916–2007.
  2. ^ a b BURNETT Hon. Sir Ian Duncan, Who's Who 2017, A. & C. Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "No. 58700". The London Gazette. 16 May 2008. p. 7469.
  4. ^ "No. 58876". The London Gazette. 7 November 2008. p. 17275.
  5. ^ "Appointment of new Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales". 14 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Life peerages: 12 October 2017". HM Government. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Lord Burnett of Maldon". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  8. ^ "No. 62098". The London Gazette. 2 November 2017. p. 20162.
  9. ^ "The Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales today announces his forthcoming retirement from the judiciary". Courts & Tribunals Judiciary. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
Legal offices
Preceded by Lord Chief Justice
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded byas President of the Supreme Court Gentlemen
as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
Succeeded byas Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal