The death has been announced of Lord Bingham of Cornhill. Appointed a Crossbench life peer in 1996, Lord Bingham was regarded as one of the most pre-eminent lawyers of the 20th century.
A former Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice and senior Law Lord, Sir Thomas Bingham was the first judge to have held the UK judicial system’s most senior posts.
A Knight of the Garter, Lord Bingham was also the first judge to be so honoured.
Lord Bingham retired as a Law Lord in 2008, shortly before the judicial role of the House of Lords as the highest appeal court in the UK came to an end.
Law Lords carried out the judicial work of the House of Lords until 30 July 2009. From 1 October 2009, the Supreme Court of the UK assumed jurisdiction on points of law for all civil law cases in the UK and all criminal cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The 12 Lords of Appeal in Ordinary – the Law Lords – became the first justices of the 12-member Supreme Court. They are disqualified from sitting or voting in the House of Lords. However, when they retire from the Supreme Court they can return to the House of Lords as full Members. Newly-appointed Justices of the Supreme Court will not have seats in the House of Lords.