The Guardian has reported that the new president of the Supreme Court will be confirmed by Downing Street from a shortlist of three later in July. The three judges on the shortlist are Lady Hale, Lord Mance and Lord Neuberger, currently Master of the Rolls.  Lady Hale is the only woman among 12 justices on the Supreme Court. The UKSC blog has previously interviewed her here. From an academic background, Hale lectured in law at Manchester University for more than 20 years and also practised in the north as a barrister specialising in family and welfare law. Lord Mance is an expert on banking and human rights. According to the Supreme Court website he:

“Read law at University College, Oxford, spent time with a Hamburg law firm and then practised at the commercial bar and sat as a Recorder until 1993. He chaired various Banking Appeals Tribunals and was a founder director of the Bar Mutual Indemnity Insurance Fund.

He represents the United Kingdom on the Council of Europe’s Consultative Council of European Judges, being elected its first chair from 2000 to 2003. He currently chairs the International Law Association and the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law. He is a member of the Judicial Integrity Group and of the seven person panel set up under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (article 255) to give an opinion on candidates’ suitability to perform the duties of Judge and Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice and General Court.

He served from 2007 to 2009 on the House of Lords European Union Select Committee, chairing sub-committee E which scrutinises proposals concerning European law and institutions. In 2006 he chaired a working group under the auspices of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region, recommending changes in the procedures for enforcement of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and in 2008 he led an international delegation for the same Group and the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights, reporting on the problems of impunity in relation to violence against women in the Congo.”

Lord Neuberger previously sat as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary before becoming Master of the Rolls. He criticised its establishment of the Supreme Court and has since complained that removing the highest court in the land from the House of Lords reduced the legitimate “avenues by which the judiciary could enter into public debate”.

The presidential vacancy is due to the imminent retirement of Lord Phillips, the current president. 74. He is standing down at the end of September and will take on senior judicial roles in Qatar and Hong Kong.