John Kay (judge)

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John Kay
Lord Justice of Appeal
Personal details
Born (1943-09-13)13 September 1943
Died 2 July 2004(2004-07-02) (aged 60)
Nationality British
Children 3 (including Ben Kay)
Alma mater Christ's College, Cambridge

Sir John William Kay PC (13 September 1943 – 2 July 2004) was a Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and member of the Privy Council from 2000 until his death.[1]


After being called to the bar in 1968 following a brief stint as a schoolteacher, he became a Queen's Counsel in 1984 and was named to the High Court of Justice of England and Wales in 1992.

On the Court of Appeal he upheld the conviction of mass murderer Jeremy Bamber in 2002, perhaps his most celebrated case. He subsequently overturned the murder conviction of Sally Clark, accused of killing her two young sons, and dismissed the posthumous appeal in the name of the executed Ruth Ellis on largely technical grounds.

Personal life[edit]

Growing up near Liverpool, he was educated at Denstone College and subsequently studied mathematics at Christ's College at the University of Cambridge before switching to law. A keen rugby enthusiast he played for Waterloo Rugby Club in his youth and later became club president. He has two daughters and a son, Ben, who was part of the victorious 2003 Rugby World Cup squad.


  1. ^ "Privy Council Appointments". 19 May 2000. Archived from the original on 2 January 2004. 

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