Lord Robert Carnwath

Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom


Lord Carnwath has been a Justice of the UK Supreme Court since April 2012. He was a Lord Justice of Appeal since September 2001, having been a Judge of the High Court, Chancery Division, from 1994. He was Chairman of the Law Commission for England and Wales from February 1999 until July 2002. In July 2004 he was nominated as “Shadow” Senior President of Tribunals, to provide judicial leadership in the reform of the UK Tribunal system. In November 2007 he was appointed as the first statutory Senior President of Tribunals under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

Previously he was in practice as a barrister in the Chambers of the Right Hon. Geoffrey Rippon QC, MP (now Landmark Chambers). His main areas of practice were Local Government, Planning and Environmental Law, and Administrative Law. Between 1980 and 1985 he was Junior Counsel to the Inland Revenue. He took silk in 1985. He served a period as Chairman of the Administrative Law Bar Association. Between 1988 and 1994 he was Attorney-General to HRH the Prince of Wales (following which he was made a Companion of the Victorian Order).

He has written extensively on administrative and environmental law. In 1989 he was the author of a report for the Department of the Environment on the Enforcement of Planning Control, the main recommendations of which were enacted in the Planning and Compensation Act 1991. He is President of the UK Environmental Association and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Environmental Law. He is a keen amateur choral-singer, viola-player, and golfer.