Sir Terence Etherton
Sir Terence Etherton
|Master of the Rolls|
3 October 2016
|Chancellor of the High Court|
11 January 2013 - 3 October 2016
|Sir Andrew Morritt|
|Sir Geoffrey Vos|
|Lord Justice of Appeal|
29 September 2008 - 11 January 2013
|Gordon Brown |
as Prime Minister
Terence Michael Elkan Barnet Etherton
21 June 1951
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College, Cambridge|
Sir Terence Michael Elkan Barnet Etherton (born 21 June 1951) is the Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice, the second most senior judge in England and Wales. He previously served as Chancellor of the High Court, the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales, from 2013 to 2016.
Etherton attended Holmewood House School and St Paul's School, and studied history and law at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was a member of the British Sabre team from 1977 to 1980 and was selected to compete at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, but, along with several other members of the team, declined to take part, joining the boycott as a protest against the 1980 Soviet incursion into Afghanistan.
Etherton was called to the bar (Gray's Inn) in 1974 and became a Queen's Counsel in 1990. He was appointed a High Court judge on 11 January 2001 and assigned to the Chancery Division, receiving the customary knighthood. In August 2006, he was appointed Chairman of the Law Commission, the statutory independent body created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where needed.
On 29 September 2008, on expansion of the Court of Appeal from 37 to 38 judges, Etherton was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal. He was sworn in on 29 September 2008, and received the customary appointment to the Privy Council. On 11 January 2013, he was appointed Chancellor of the High Court.
In October 2016 Etherton was one of the three judges forming the divisional court of the High Court in proceedings concerning the use of the royal prerogative for the issue of notification in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (the Lisbon Treaty) (Santos and Miller, Applicants -v- Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Respondent). His role in this judgment meant that he appeared in an infamous front-cover of the Daily Mail (Enemies of the People), and in a move which was widely seen as attacking his homosexuality, the Mail Online chastised Etherton for being an "openly-gay ex-Olympic fencer". The reference was swiftly removed, though without apology.
In June 2019, Etherton, Sir Stephen Irwin and Sir Rabinder Singh found that ministers had breached British law when they "made no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict, and made no attempt to do so."
Non-Executive Director Riverside Mental Health Trust (1992-1999), Chairman of Broadmoor Hospital (1999-2001) and Chairman of West London Mental Health NHS Trust (2000-2001).
President of the Nicholas Bacon Society, Corpus Christi's law society, from 2001 to 2013.
In January 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in law by City University, London.
President of the Council of the four Inns of Court (COIC) for a three-year term (2009 2012).
Honorary Professor at Kent University since 2011. In 2018 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in law by Kent University.
Honorary President of the Property Bar Association and the Chairman of The Trust Law Committee in 2012.
Visiting Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London since 2010 and lectured on subjects including diversity in the judiciary and equity and trusts on the Birkbeck, University of London LLB and LLM Qualifying Law Degrees. He is also Patron of the Birkbeck Law Review.
Chairman of the Civil Justice Council (2016- )
Chairman of the Advisory Council on the National Archives and Records (2016-)
Honorary Member of the Society of Legal Scholars (2017)
Etherton entered a civil partnership in 2006. On his appointment as Lord Justice of Appeal in 2008, he said, "My appointment also shows that diversity in sexuality is not a bar to preferment up to the highest levels of the judiciary".
On 10 December 2014, pursuant to legislation allowing couples in civil partnerships to convert the relationship to marriage, Etherton and his civil partner Andrew Stone were married in a Reform Judaism wedding ceremony at West London Synagogue.