Roger Ormrod

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Lord Justice
Roger Ormrod
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
1974 – 1982 (retired)
Personal details
Born 20 October 1911
Died 6 January 1992
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Anne Lush
Alma mater The Queen's College, Oxford
Profession barrister
Committees Lord Chancellor's committee on legal education (chair, 1968)
Military service
Service/branch Royal Army Medical Corps
Years of service 1942-1945
Rank major
Unit deputy assistant director of medical services, 8th Corps

Sir Roger Fray Greenwood Ormrod, PC (20 October 1911 – 6 January 1992) was a British Lord Justice of Appeal.

Ormrod was educated at Shrewsbury School and the Queen's College, Oxford. Although he had studied Law at university, his father insisted that he train as a doctor.

After serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Second World War, he returned to legal practice, specializing in divorce cases and becoming Queen's Counsel in 1958. In 1961 he was appointed a judge of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division, and in 1974 a Lord Justice of Appeal.

He was a significant figure in the development of the jurisprudence of no-fault divorce in the English courts.

His best known finding, in the case Corbett v Corbett (1971), was that the male-to-female transsexual partner to a marriage, while a woman for many legal purposes, did not qualify as a woman for purposes of marriage:

sex is clearly an essential determinant of the relationship called marriage because it is and always has been recognized as the union of man and woman. It is the institution on which the family is built, and in which the capacity for natural heterosexual intercourse is an essential element. [...] Having regard to the essentially heterosexual character of the relationship which is called marriage, the criteria must, in my judgement, be biological [...]. My conclusion therefore is that the respondent is not a woman for the purposes of marriage, but is a biological male and has been so since birth. It follows that the so-called marriage of 10 September 1963 is void.[1]



  1. ^ Mary Douglas (ed.), Rules and Meanings, p. 116; citing Corbett v Corbett (otherwise Ashley), The Law Reports, Part 5, May 1971, Probate Division, pp. 105-7.