Brian Barker
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Brian Barker

Judge Brian Barker CBE QC

Brian John Barker (born 1945) is a British retired judge.[1] From February 2013 to January 2015 he served as the Recorder of London, the most senior judge at the Old Bailey.[2] Prior to that he was the former Common Serjeant of London, the second most senior judge at the Old Bailey.

Barker graduated from Birmingham University with an LLB degree in law in 1966.[3] Barker was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in 1969[4][5] and was a leading criminal barrister excelling as a prosecutor and a defender. He served as chairman of the Criminal Bar Association. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1990,[5] and was appointed a circuit judge at the Old Bailey in 2000.[4][6]

He succeeded Peter Beaumont as Recorder of London, to become the most senior judge at the Old Bailey in February 2013.[2] Barker was previously appointed as the 79th holder of the post of Common Serjeant of London (the second most senior judge at the Old Bailey) in 2005, again succeeding Judge Peter Beaumont QC.[4][7] The Common Serjeant is an ancient office first recorded in 1291 with the appointment of Thomas Juvenal. Barker has since presided over trials including those of Umran Javed, the murderers of Jody Dobrowski,[8] the murder trial of rapper 'Crazy Titch', aka Carl Dobson, and the murder of Ben Kinsella.

In May 2016, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland Rt. Hon Theresa Villiers MP announced the appointment of Barker to the dual role of chair of the Northern Ireland Committee on Protection and Independent Reviewer of National Security Arrangements in Northern Ireland.[9]

In December 2016 the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced that, following an open competition, it had appointed Barker as its first judicial panel chairman.[10]

In May 2017 Barker appeared as the judge in The Trial: A Murder in the Family on Channel 4.[11]

Barker is married to Dame Anne Rafferty DBE PC, one of the United Kingdom's few female Appeal Court judges,[12] with whom he has three daughters. Another daughter, who had Down syndrome, died aged two.[13]

He lists his hobbies as golf and sheep rearing. Barker is a governor of Sir John Cass's Foundation, one of London's oldest and largest education charities, which was founded in 1748.[14] Barker is a Freeman of the City of London, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Coopers and an Honorary Liveryman of the Curriers' Company.

Barker was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to the administration of justice and to charity.[15][16]


  1. ^ "HH Brian Barker QC CBE". The Worshipful Company of Cutlers.
  2. ^ a b Next Recorder of London announced: His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC Archived 23 April 2013 at, City of London, 10 December 2012
  3. ^ "Brian-John BARKER". Debretts. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Judicial Appointments[permanent dead link], Central Office of Information, 1 July 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  5. ^ a b "No. 52123". The London Gazette. 27 April 1990. p. 8423.
  6. ^ "No. 56067". The London Gazette. 27 December 2000. p. 14459.
  7. ^ "No. 57697". The London Gazette. 8 July 2005. p. 8901.
  8. ^ Killers of gay barman jailed for 28 years, The Times, 17 June 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  9. ^ "Appointment of His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC". Government of the United Kingdom.
  10. ^ "BHA Board appoints former Senior Judge Brian Barker QC as first Chairman of its new independent Judicial Panel". The British Horseracing Authority.
  11. ^ "The Trial: A Murder in the Family". Channel 4.
  12. ^ "No. 55874". The London Gazette. 13 June 2000. p. 6423.
  13. ^ Valerie Grove, "Woman against the rape of reason", The Times, Interview with Anne Rafferty, QC, p.21, 20 June 1998.
  14. ^ Sir John Cass's Foundation--Governance. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  15. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N8.
  16. ^ "2015 New Year Honours List" (PDF). Government of the United Kingdom.

External links

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