James Rant

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His Honour Judge

James Rant

Judge Advocate General
In office
Preceded byJames Stuart-Smith
Succeeded byJeff Blackett

His Honour Judge James William Rant CB QC (16 April 1936 - 25 May 2003) was a British judge and the Judge Advocate General from 1991 until his death in 2003.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Rant was born on 16 April 1936 in the Romford district of Essex and was educated at the Stowe School and Selwyn College, Cambridge.[1] He graduated from Selwyn College in 1958 and was called to the bar by Gray's Inn in 1961.[1]


Rant started practicing general law until 1970, when he began to specialise in criminal law, he became a barrister in 1980 and by 1984 had become a circuit judge, sitting at the Old Bailey from 1986.[1]

In 1991, he was appointed the Judge Advocate General, the first for a long time without a background or connection to the military.[1] He made a number of reforms to the court-martial system including a centralised administration system for Army and Royal Air Force courts-martial and the introduction of judge advocates.[1] He further reformed the system to reflect the introduction of the Human Rights Act including the creation of summary appeal courts.[1]

Rant was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 1995 Birthday Honours.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Rant married in 1963 and had two daughters and two sons. He died on 25 May 2003, aged 67.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "His Honour Judge Rant." Times [London, England] 11 June 2003: 30. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
  2. ^ "No. 54066". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 1995. p. 4.
Legal offices
Preceded by
James Stuart-Smith
Judge Advocate General
1991 - 2003
Succeeded by
Jeff Blackett