Talk:Jonathan Sumption, Lord Sumption

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Supreme Court of the United Kingdom[edit]

Article says "In the history of the Appellate Committee, there have been only four appointments of men straight from the Bar, without any intervening full-time judicial experience. Two were Scots lawyers: Lord Macmillan in 1930 and Lord Reid in 1948; the others were Lord Carson (1921) and Lord Radcliffe (1949)."

Marcel Berlins apparently using "The Judicial House of Lords 1876-2009" (OUP) wrote on 28.09.2009 "...he will be only the eighth member of the highest court to have been appointed straight from the bar, without any experience as a professional judge, but the first since 1949 and only the third from England. Four of the others were Scottish advocates and one was a barrister from pre-independence Ireland. But Sumption would be unique among the eight in having had no experience whatever in any governmental or parliamentary capacity.

The four Scots, the Irishman and one of the English former law lords had all been law officers in their respective countries..."

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree [1]

I suppose it depends how you define "full-time judicial experience" but I would contend the Berlins version is more informative.


Cannonmc (talk) 08:32, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Current rumour[edit]

This blog explains why there is current speculation. Charles Matthews (talk) 20:27, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

And today there is an article in the Times, "Jonathan Sumption wins Supreme Court place 18 months after being blocked"; which is behind a paywall. Charles Matthews (talk) 15:03, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

There now somthing at [2], and I suppose official announcements may follow. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:03, 4 May 2011 (UTC)


Should he now be listed as PC?[edit]

I am not well-informed on how British titles operate, but I note that he was appointed last year to the Privy Council. Would this imply that he should get PC after his name -- either before or after the OBE? Nandt1 (talk) 16:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

No, only peers use "PC". He simply gets "The Right Honourable" in front of his name. Proteus (Talk) 18:14, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to be slow about who is and is not in the "peerage" but he is now "Lord" Sumption? Help us -- explain! Nandt1 (talk) 20:48, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
The article Peerage will give you some background. Justices of the Supreme Court who are not peers (all the recently appointed ones) use courtesy titles that make them look sort-of-like peers. The main difference in form is that peers have a definite article before their title whereas Lord Sumption is simply "Lord Sumption" and not "The Lord Sumption". Were he not to be a Privy Counsellor he would be simply "Lord Sumption, OBE", so the fact that he is "The Rt Hon. Lord Sumption, OBE" is enough to show he's a Privy Counsellor. Peers are "The Right Honourable" (or higher) already, so if they are also Privy Counsellors they need the letters to show that. Proteus (Talk) 12:23, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Thank you so much. Nandt1 (talk) 17:19, 13 January 2012 (UTC)


Restoring cut to explanation of how Supreme Court is successor to Appellate Committee[edit]

Hello, Rrius,

I am sure your cutting of this article's explanation of how the Supreme Court replaced the Appellate Committee was well-intended -- you noted that this was not relevant as JS was not joining the Appellate Committee but the Supreme Court. However, if you continue in the article, you will see that later on there is a comparative discussion of the tiny handful of lawyers who went directly from the Bar to the Appellate Committee (as JS has to the committee's successor). For lay readers (like Yours truly), the relevance of a discussion of direct elevation to the Appellate Committee will not be obvious unless they are told that the Supreme Court is its successor.

Best wishes with your future edits. Nandt1 (talk) 22:41, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Publications[edit]

The publication data for The Age of Pilgrimage (2003) show it to be a reissue of the 1973 Pilgrimage - I do not have the book but the copyright details of the later book are visible on the Barnes & Noble site. I have amended the publications list accordingly. If in fact there are revisions too possibly someone can say so.Thomas Peardew (talk) 08:36, 30 May 2013 (UTC)


The link under "Articles" to the Spectator article doesn't work. I tried to find a working link to that article, but failed.Twr57 (talk) 15:24, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Move[edit]

Shouldn't the article be moved to Jonathan Sumption, Baron Sumption (or posssibly Lord Sumption) per Wikipedia naming conventions? --Legis (talk - contribs) 07:54, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

My mistake, it should be Jonathan Sumption, Lord Sumption per the courtesy titles (see also: John Dyson, Lord Dyson in the same boat). Unless anyone objects, I will be bold and move it tomorrow. --Legis (talk - contribs) 04:24, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Move?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus. We generally avoid putting styles in article titles except when it it is the most straightforward way to disambiguate the person. In this case the proponent and User:Necrothesp argue that it's usual for Supreme Court justices. To evaluate this claim you could check out List of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary and look at the entries for members of the Supreme Court. It does not seem there is enough support here to override our usual reluctance to put styles in titles. Maybe a change in the guideline could be proposed? EdJohnston (talk) 19:27, 3 April 2014 (UTC)


  • Consistency with other UK Supreme Court justices (see e.g. John Dyson, Lord Dyson). Currently redirect points the other way, so main pages and associated talk pages should effectively be switched – --Legis (talk - contribs) 05:38, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
  • But are there other men called Jonathan Sumption to need to disambig from? There are several other men called John Dyson. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 05:47, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. We do appear to be using the full style for Supreme Court justices, whether we need to disambiguate or not, just as we do for Scottish judges. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:14, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose WP:PRECISE, this person is not a peer, not even a lifepeer. This person highest honour is the OBE, not a KBE or Grand Cross. The style is just that, and nothing more. We don't title knights/dames with "Sir" or "Dame" attached to their article names, and all these justices should similarly have theirs removed. Indeed, Sirs and Dames have a greater right to theirs as it wasn't a summary courtesy as a result of their job. -- 70.50.151.11 (talk) 06:26, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:UNDAB. (Yes, it's an essay, but it reflects policy-based reasoning that applies here). --B2C 20:32, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
    • Note that WP:UNDAB redirects to Wikipedia:Unnecessary disambiguation, which is neither a policy nor a guideline. It is an essay largely written by B2C. There is nothing wrong with editors creating an essay which explains their views, provided that they disclose the document's status and their own role in creating it. B2C's failure to mention his own authorship misleads others. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:29, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
      • So the primary author of WP:BRD needs to note that they are the primary author whenever citing it? And the primary author of WP:JDLI needs to the same? Etc.? Where is that rule written? Have you ever seen anyone do that anywhere? Once again you are holding me to a standard nobody else is expected to meet. --B2C 21:04, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
    • Comment. Styling Supreme Court Justices "Lords" is a little bit more than just a courtesy title. They no longer get a life peerage, true, but they are still titled Law Lords. They don't get the traditional judicial knighthood even though more junior lawyers (Court of Appeal justices and High Court justices) still do, which suggests the Lord title is more than a mere courtesy title. Certainly no one will ever call him "Mr Sumption" for the remainder of his life. --Legis (talk - contribs) 13:40, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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Association with Keith Joseph[edit]

On 30 June 2018 an unregistered user deleted the entirety of the subsection on Sumption's early career working for the cabinet minister, Keith Joseph. The subsection has now been restored.

The fact of Sumption's association with Keith Joseph is a matter of public record, and doesn't appear to be controversial - they co-wrote and published a book together, which is referred to with citations in the subsection. The rest of the subsection is similarly well-sourced and cited.

The user responsible for the deletion seems to have felt that the inclusion in the article of Sumption's history working for a political figure was biased, but the deleted text appears to be a factual and unemotive account of Sumption's involvement in an important historical event. The references to Sumption's authorship of the Edgbaston speech come from a recorded public lecture given by the Oxford academic Vernon Bogdanor, who is a widely-published expert on the British constitution.

The other sources for the subsection, which in some cases are shared with other subsections, are also apparently reliable and come from all over the political spectrum, from the centre, left and right: The Times, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian etc.

The deletion has been undone. The user responsible for the edit may wish to reach a consensus about any substantial future edits to the article here on the Talk page first, and could perhaps make a contribution to the section on Sumption's historical work, if that part of his career is under-represented in the article, as they suggest. TW Enquist (talk) 06:11, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

I'm not the user who made the deletion, and it should be mentioned that he worked for Joseph and wrote that speech, but I should think that the rule against undue weight kicks in in this case. Lord Sumption is famous because he's a senior judge and because he's a prominent historian, in that order. His work for Joseph is not noteworthy enough to deserve such a lengthy section - and there certainly isn't a need to quote the speech at such length. Atchom (talk) 01:51, 30 August 2018 (UTC)