Kenneth Diplock, Baron Diplock

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William John Kenneth Diplock, Baron Diplock, PC (8 December 1907 – 14 October 1985[1]) was a British judge and Law Lord.

Early life[edit]

Born the son of an Irish solicitor, he attended Whitgift School and University College, Oxford, where he read chemistry and was later to become an Honorary Fellow.[2] His father was Herbert Diplock and his mother was Christine Brooke.


Diplock was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1932 and made a King's Counsel (KC) in 1948. In 1956, he was appointed to the High Court.[2]

He became a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lord) in 1968[1] and was elevated as a life peer with the title Baron Diplock, of Wansford in the County of Huntingdonshire to the House of Lords.[2]

As Lord Diplock, he chaired a commission set up in 1972 to consider legal measures against terrorism in Northern Ireland, which led to the establishment of the juryless Diplock courts with which his name is now associated.

At the time of his death, Lord Diplock was the longest serving Law Lord.[1]

Contributions to legal thought[edit]

He made many contributions to legal thought and pushed the law in new and unique directions.

The current typology of grounds for judicial review is owing to Lord Diplock.

Notable judgments[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dickson, Brice (1989). "The Contribution of Lord Diplock to the General Law of Contract". Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. 9 (4): 441. doi:10.1093/ojls/9.4.441.
  2. ^ a b c d e Andrews, Neil (2011). Contract Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 681. ISBN 978-0-521-12467-6.
  3. ^ Woolf, Harry (1986). "The Role of the English Judiciary in Developing Public Law". William and Mary Law Review. 27 (4): 675.
  4. ^ Laws, John (October 1992). "Is the High Court the Guardian of Fundamental Constitutional Rights". Commonwealth Law Bulletin. 18 (4): 1389. doi:10.1080/03050718.1992.9986233.
  5. ^ Sacks, Vera; Maxwell, Judith (May 1984). "Unnatural Justice for Discriminators". The Modern Law Review. 47 (3): 336–337. JSTOR 1095955.
  6. ^ a b Jowell, Jeffrey; Lester, Anthony (April 1988). "Beyond Wednesbury: Substantive Principles of Administrative Law". Commonwealth Law Review. 14 (2): 859. doi:10.1080/03050718.1988.9985971.
  7. ^ The Hong Kong Fir [1961] EWCA Civ 7
  8. ^ Moschi v. Lep AirServices Ltd. [1973] A.C. 331 per Lord Diplock, confirmed in Photo Production Ltd. v Securior Transport Ltd. [1980] UKHL 2 at [5] per Lord Wilberforce

External links[edit]