Ex-Supreme Court justice Lord Toulson dies during operation

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Jun 29, 2017
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Lord Toulson was described as a "learned, deeply thoughtful and principled" judge

Andre Camara for The Times

Lord Toulson, a former Supreme Court justice, died aged 70 during a medical operation on Tuesday night, the court announced yesterday.

“Justices and staff alike are shocked by the news,” the court’s president, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, said, “and we offer our deepest sympathy to Lady Toulson, his children and their families. They are all very much in our thoughts at this tragic time.”

Lord Toulson was appointed to sit on the UK’s top bench in April 2013. He retired in September 2016 but continued to serve on the court’s supplementary panel.

“Through his judgments and during hearings,” said Lord Neuberger, “Lord Toulson demonstrated a learned, deeply thoughtful and principled approach to resolving legal problems. These qualities ensure that his enormous contribution to the common law will always be remembered as disproportionate to the relatively short time for which he served upon the Supreme Court.”

Lord Neuberger said that Lord Toulson would “never know the full extent of the impact that his considerate, thoughtful and encouraging nature had on the court, the wider profession and the society we serve, but it is a legacy that we will all treasure long into the future”. “He was a truly valued colleague, a man of honour, modesty and integrity who will be deeply missed by all with whom he worked.”

Roger Toulson was called to the Bar at Inner Temple in 1969 and became a bencher in 1995. He took silk in 1986 and served as a Crown Court recorder from 1987 to 1996. That year he was appointed to the Queen’s Bench division of the High Court, sitting in the Commercial Court and in the Administrative Court. He was the presiding judge on the Western Circuit from 1997 to 2002.

Between 2002 and 2006 Lord Toulson was chairman of the Law Commission of England and Wales, after which he was appointed to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in 2007. He has also served on the Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales.

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