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UK’s first out gay senior judge Sir Terence Etherton becomes master of the rolls

Joseph McCormick May 27, 2016
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The first out gay senior judge in the UK has been appointed as the master of the rolls.

Sir Terence Etherton, who entered a civil partnership in 2006, becoming one of the first senior judges to do so, will now be the head of the civil judiciary for England and Wales.

The 64-year-old who has worked as a barrister since 1997, had the promotion confirmed through a Downing Street announcement on Thursday.

Previously appointed to the court of appeal, and holding the position of the chancellor of the high court, is now the second most senior judge in England and Wales.

In 2008, Sir Terence became the first out gay Lord Justice of Appeal.

At the time he told PinkNews: “My appointment also shows that diversity in sexuality is not a bar to preferment up to the highest levels of the judiciary.”

He spent two years as chairman of the Law Commission, the Government’s legal reform body.

In that time the commission had been responsible for showing, what was described by campaigners as “enlightened thinking” on some very sensitive and important areas of the law particularly in regards to gender and sexuality.

He was previously on the British Olympic fencing team for sabre in 1980.

The judge entered a civil partnership in 2006 with Andrew Stone. They converted to marriage in 2014.

His appointment means he will take over from Lord Dyson, who served as master of the rolls since 2012. Lord Dyson retires on 2 October.

 

 

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