Nigel Sweeney

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The Honourable
Mr Justice Sweeney
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
High Court Judge
Assumed office
1 October 2008
Monarch Elizabeth II
Personal details
Born (1954-03-18) 18 March 1954 (age 63)
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Nottingham

Sir Nigel Hamilton Sweeney (born 18 March 1954), styled The Hon. Mr Justice Sweeney, is a High Court judge.

Sweeney studied law at the University of Nottingham[1] under Sir John Cyril Smith. He was called to the bar in 1976 at the Middle Temple, where he was made a bencher in 1997, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2000.[2] He was appointed to the High Court (Queen's Bench) in September 2008.[3][4]

Prior to being appointed a High Court judge, Sweeney was a barrister in the United Kingdom, practising from 6 King's Bench Walk. He prosecuted a number of notable criminal trials, including the perpetrators of the 1984 IRA Brighton bombing and the attempted bombings of 21 July 2005,[5][6] Neo-Nazi terrorist David Copeland[7] and murderers Michael Stone[8][9] and Kamel Bourgass.[10]

He presided over the trial in February and March 2013 of former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne MP and his former wife, Vicky Pryce, for perverting the course of justice contrary to common law.[11] He sentenced another MP Dennis MacShane for fraud in the aftermath of the 2009 parliamentary expenses scandal.[12]

More recently he presided over and was sentencing judge in high-profile cases involving terrorists and extremists, such as the two men responsible for the murder of Lee Rigby in 2013[13] and White supremacist bomber Pavlo Lapshyn.[14] He was the presiding judge in the mistrial of Rolf Harris for various counts of indecent assault dating back to the 1960s.[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "High Court judge goes back to university". Nottingham Post. 23 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "Masters of the Bench: The Hon Mr Justice Nigel Sweeney". 
  3. ^ Rozenberg, Joshua (14 September 2008). "Two women among five new High Court judges". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  4. ^ "Five silks appointed to bench; two female". The Lawyer. 11 September 2008. 
  5. ^ "21 July trial legal figures". BBC. 1 February 2007. 
  6. ^ "Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2007-2008: Inspiring Confidence in the Communities We Serve". Crown Prosecution Service. 15 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "Bomber gets six life terms". The Guardian. 1 July 2000. 
  8. ^ "Doctor tells of finding Josie alive". BBC. 13 September 2001. 
  9. ^ "Stone 'boasted about murders'". Daily Mail. London, UK. 
  10. ^ "Detective murdered in bungled raid". The Guardian. 13 April 2005. 
  11. ^ Greenwood, C. (28 January 2013). "Huhne and ex-wife set for speeding points trial". Daily Mail. 
  12. ^ "Denis MacShane jailed for MP expenses fraud". BBC. 23 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Lee Rigby murder: Adebolajo and Adebowale jailed". BBC News. BBC. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Pavlo Lapshyn jailed for 40 years for murder and mosque bombs". The Guardian. 25 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Courts and Tribunals Judiciary — Judgements: R v Rolf Harris". Judiciary of England and Wales. 4 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Justice must always be seen to be done". The Sunday Times. 15 February 2015.