Paul Kennedy (English judge)

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Sir Paul Kennedy

Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
Personal details
Paul Joseph Morrow Kennedy

(1935-06-12) 12 June 1935 (age 85)
Sheffield, Yorkshire

Sir Paul Joseph Morrow Kennedy, PC (born 12 June 1935)[1] is a British jurist. He is a former vice-president of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, and former Interception of Communications Commissioner.


Kennedy was born in northern England in Sheffield, Yorkshire.[2] He studied at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, then at Caius College at Cambridge and received his final law training at Sheffield University.[2]

In 1960 Kennedy was admitted to legal practice as a barrister via Gray's Inn, and in 1973 he took silk (became Queen's Counsel). From 1971 to 1983 Kennedy served as the recorder on the North Eastern Circuit. In 1983 he was appointed as a justice of the High Court, assigned to the Queen's Bench Division, where he served until 1992. He was the presiding judge of the North Eastern Circuit from 1985 to 1989.[3]

From 1992 to 2005 Kennedy was an appellate judge on the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, known as a Lord Justice of Appeal. From 1997 to 2002 he also served as the vice-president of the Queen's Bench Division.[3]

In 2006, Kennedy was appointed as Interception of Communications Commissioner (ICC) by Tony Blair for the standard three-year term. In April 2009, he was reappointed for a second term by Gordon Brown.[4] Kennedy served until December 2012, and was succeeded by Sir Anthony May in January 2013.[5][6] In 2014, Kennedy served an additional six months as Interception of Communications Commissioner due to the convalescence of Anthony May from an accident.[7][8]

Also in 2006 Kennedy was appointed to the Court of Appeal in Gibraltar, where he became president in December 2011.[2][3]

In 2009 he was appointed by the Estimates Committee of the House of Commons to hear appeals from members of parliament (MPs) whose claims for reimbursement and allowances had been denied by the Commons fees office.[4][9]


In 1995, Kennedy was an advisor to a charity that promoted a controversial, brainwashing style rehabilitation program for young offenders reminiscent of that used in Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, for which he was later taken to task by the press.[4]

In 2010, Kennedy on appeal reversed more than 50% of the cases for repayments from MPs that Sir Thomas Legg had demanded. He found that in most cases there was no evidence of wrongdoing, and that it was unfair to call MPs who had not broken the existing rules things such as "tainted" or having "breached the requirements of propriety".[9][10]

In 2011, while serving as Interception of Communications Commissioner, Kennedy and the Intelligence Services Commissioner, Sir Mark Waller, were ridiculed for allowing their new web site dealing with state security to have open editing access.[11]

Memberships and awards[edit]


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2014. Sir Paul Kennedy, a former Lord of Appeal, 78
  2. ^ a b c d e f "President of the Court of Appeal Sworn In". Vox Gibraltar News. 24 January 2012. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Profile: Paul Joseph Morrow Kennedy". People of Today. Debrett's. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Swaine, Jon (2 December 2009). "MPs' expenses: Profile of Sir Paul Kennedy, new judge of allowance claims". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009.
  5. ^ Hope, Christopher (22 February 2014). "Inquiry into phone and email snoopers". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Appointment of an Interception of Communications Commissioner announced". UK Prime Minister's Office. 22 October 2012. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015.
  7. ^ Cavan, Joanna (29 July 2014). "Announcement" (PDF). Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  8. ^ May resumed the commissioner duties on 1 January 2015. "Statement by The Rt Hon. Sir Anthony May, Interception of Communications Commissioner" (PDF). IOCCO. 20 January 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  9. ^ a b Prince, Rosa (29 January 2010). "MPs' expenses: Jeremy Browne successfully appeals against repayment demand". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014.
  10. ^ McVeigh, Karen (4 February 2010). "Former judge hits out at 'damaging' penalties as he grants MPs' expenses appeals". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014.
  11. ^ Williams, Christopher (23 October 2011). "MI5 inspector's website shut down after security blunder". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Third Supplement to The London Gazette of Monday, 2nd April 1984 (no. 49696)". The Gazette. Government of the United Kingdom. p. 4829.

External links[edit]