Peter Millett, Baron Millett

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Millett
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
1 October 1998 – 11 January 2004
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by The Lord Nolan
Succeeded by The Baroness Hale of Richmond
Personal details
Born Peter Julian Millett
(1932-06-23) 23 June 1932 (age 86)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Ann Mireille Harris
Children 2
Occupation Judge
Profession Barrister

Peter Julian Millett, Baron Millett, GBS, PC, (born 23 June 1932)[1] is a non-permanent judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and a former Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and barrister of the United Kingdom.

The son of Denis and Adele Millett, he was educated at Harrow School, London, and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he received a Master of Arts in Classics and Law in 1954, graduating with a Double First.[2] From 1955 to 1957 he served as a Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Queen Mary, University of London in 2012.

Millett was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1955. In 1959, he came to Lincoln's Inn, where he was appointed a Bencher in 1980. From 1958 to 1986 he practised at the Chancery Bar and was examiner and lecturer in practical conveyancing at the Council of Legal Education from 1962 to 1976. Between 1967 and 1973, Millett was junior counsel at the Department of Trade and Industry in chancery matters, and between 1971 and 1975 member of the General Council of the Bar.

He was a member of the Law Commission working party on co-ownership of the matrimonial home in 1972 and 1973 and appointed a Queen's Counsel in the following year. From 1977 to 1982, Millett was member of the Department of Trade Insolvency Law Review Committee. In 1986, he became a judge of the High Court of Justice and was knighted. He was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and a member of the Privy Council in 1994. On 1 October 1998, he was appointed as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, receiving additionally a life peerage with the title Baron Millett, of St Marylebone in the City of Westminster.[3] He retired as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in January 2004. He has been a Non-permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal since 2000.

From 1991 to 1995, he was President of the West London Synagogue.

He is an active Freemason, and served for five years as Metropolitan Grand Master of London from the inception of the new Metropolitan Grand Lodge in 2003.[4] In this capacity he supervised more than 1,200 Masonic Lodges in London, and more than 600 associated Chapters of Royal Arch Masons.

Millett is well known for his judgment in the House of Lords in the wrongful birth case of McFarlane v Tayside Health Board[5] where a couple were denied recovery of damages for the cost of bringing up an unwanted child, born as a result of a negligently performed vasectomy. He concluded that "the law must take the birth of a normal, healthy baby to be a blessing, not a detriment." In addition, in a dissenting opinion, he concluded that damages could not be awarded for the pain and distress of pregnancy and delivery but rather that a small sum should be awarded to reflect that the parents had "lost the freedom to limit the size of their family" and thus had been "denied an important aspect of their personal autonomy."

In 2003, he authored the Arrow Investments Ltd decision (Hong Kong), a landmark judgement on tax avoidance. Delivered 20 years after the Ramsay judgement (United Kingdom) of 1982, it has dealt a body blow to so-called the tax savings industry.

Millett also wrote on Villainy, Money Loops and Identity Theft University of Queensland Press. Published: 15 March 2007. Audience Guide: Tertiary Education (US: College), Professional & Vocational.Paperback.

Millett has been married to Ann Mireille Harris since 1959. They have two sons and five grandchildren.

In 2015, Millett was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.[6]

He retired from the membership of the House of Lords on 4 May 2017.[7]



  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 23 June 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2014. Lord Millett, a former Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, 79 
  2. ^
  3. ^ House of Lords (7 October 1998). "Announcement of his introduction at the House of Lords". minutes of proceedings. Retrieved 18 November 2006. 
  4. ^ See report here.
  5. ^ [1999] UKHL 50
  6. ^ 'Civil And Miscellaneous Lists : Recipients of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Honours and Awards Grand Bauhinia Medal (G.B.M.)' <> accessed 3 June 2016
  7. ^ "Lord Millett". UK Parliament. 


Order of precedence
The Lord Hoffmann
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Succeeded by
Murray Gleeson
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal