Recorder of London
The Recorder of London is an ancient legal office in the City of London. The Recorder of London is appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the City of London Corporation with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor. The Recorder is the senior Circuit Judge at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey), hearing trials of criminal offences. The Recorder's deputy is the Common Serjeant of London, appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor. The current Recorder of London is Nicholas Hilliard QC.
The first Recorder of London was appointed in 1298. Originally it seems likely that the Recorder would have recorded pleas in the court of the Lord Mayor and the aldermen and delivered their judgments. A charter granted by Henry VI in 1444 appointed the Recorder ex officio a conservator of the peace. The Recorder increasingly exercised judicial functions in the following years, eventually becoming the principal judge in the City of London.
The Recorder of London became a judge at the Central Criminal Court when it was created by Parliament in 1834. The Central Criminal Court became a Crown Court under the Courts Act 1971, but the Recorder maintained his position when the office of recorder in other cities became honorary positions.
In addition to hearing criminal trials at the Central Criminal Court, the Recorder of London is responsible for managing the court lists and allocation of cases to the court's judges. He also provides legal advice to the Lord Mayor and the Court of Aldermen.
The Recorder takes charge of the election of the Lord Mayor of London, declares the result, and presents the new Lord Mayor for the monarch's approval, first to the Lord Chancellor, and then to the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls (at the Royal Courts of Justice on the day of the Lord Mayor's Show). On the occasion of a state visit, the Recorder usually presents an Address of Welcome on behalf of the City.
The Recorder of London is the returning officer at the election of the Verderers of Epping Forest, and is usually appointed high steward of Southwark, holding the sitting of the three courts leet there each year.
List of Recorders of London
(before 1495 may not be complete)
- Senior Circuit Judge Appointment – The Recorder of London, Judicial Appointments Commission
- Next Recorder of London announced: His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC, City of London, 10 December 2012
- The history and antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and other parts adjacent, Volume 2, Thomas Allen, 1839, p. 282–284
- The Bar and the Old Bailey, 1750–1850, p. 45, 151
- The Office of Recorder of the City of London, Sir Lawrence Verney, 30 October 2000
- [www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/jobs/Documents/Information%20pack.pdf Job description]