High Court Fellow

Sir David Lloyd Jones

Sir David Lloyd Jones

13 July 2012

Sir David Lloyd Jones, one of the Presiding Judges of Wales, has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University today, Friday 13 2012. 

Sir David enjoyed a distinguished career at Cambridge University before being appointed to the High Court, and has made an immense contribution to the development of Legal Wales and the advancement of Welsh within the legal system.

In October 2005, he was appointed a High Court Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division. He is the Chairman of the Lord Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Welsh Language and Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission of Wales.

Sir David Lloyd Jones was presented by Professor John Williams of the Department of Law and Criminology.

Presentation by Professor John Williams.
“The Hon Mr Justice Lloyd Jones is eminently qualified to become a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.  As a High Court Judge, Sir David has made a remarkable contribution to professional and public life in Wales.  He is a proud Welshman who enriches the legal life of Wales.  Sir David follows the fine tradition of Welsh lawyers appointed to high judicial office.  He is one of seven Welsh judges currently in the High Court.  David Lloyd Jones was born in Church Village the son of a local schoolteacher.  At Pontypridd Boys Grammar, he developed his love not only for learning, but also for music, two passions that remain with him.  After A levels, he went to Downing College, Cambridge to read Law where he was without doubt one of the outstanding students of his generation obtaining a first in his BA followed by a first in the LL.B.  He was awarded the prestigious Whewell Scholarship in International Law, adding his name to a list of other distinguished lawyers to receive that honour.

Sir David's career could have been in academia.  From 1975 until 1991, he was a Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge and published widely in distinguished academic journals.  However, after successfully completing the Bar Examinations at the Council of Legal Education, where he is now a governor, he chose the Bar as a career.  As a member of Middle Temple, he was called to the Bar in 1975 and embarked on the task of establishing himself in that demanding profession.  His incisive mind, the clarity of his presentation, and his capacity for hard work marked him out at an early stage as a lawyer of immense potential, a fact recognised when he became a QC in 1999.  He has held a number of judicial offices including Assistant Recorder, Recorder on the Wales and Chester Circuit, and Deputy High Court Judge.  In 2005, he was appointed a judge of the High Court, a source of great pride to his parents and family.

Sir David maintains the highest principles of judicial office, most notably the importance of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.  One of our safeguards against the abuse of power by Government is the independence of the judiciary. 

High Court Judges sit within the unified jurisdiction of England and Wales.  As a High Court Judge, and in particular as the Senior Presiding Judge of Wales, Sir David has played an important part in developing ‘Legal Wales’, a term coined by another Aberystwyth Fellow, Lord Justice John Thomas, and developed by yet another, Winston Roddick QC.  Sir David is the Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Wales and was the Chairman of the Lord Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Welsh Language.  

Devolution poses many challenges for the unified jurisdiction.  In his 2010 Law Society lecture at the National Eisteddfod, he skilfully mapped out how far Legal Wales has developed and what opportunities there are for the future.  His thinking is a significant contribution to the current debate within Wales on the case for a distinct Welsh jurisdiction.

Law reform is something close to Sir David's heart.  The Law Commission for England and Wales was established by the Law Commission Act 1965 to address what Francis Bacon had identified many years before as the ‘heaping up of laws without digesting them’ thus making law ‘but snares for the people.’  In August, David will become the next Chairman of the Law Commission for England and Wales succeeding Lord Justice Munby.  This is a demanding responsibility as the Commission faces many challenges; not least, it must address those presented by the new constitutional arrangements and the emergence of greater law making powers for Wales. 

In his Law Society lecture, Sir David concludes that ‘while it is certainly not for the judiciary to be the drivers of further constitutional change in Wales, it is essential that the senior judiciary remain vigilant to ensure that the machinery of justice continues to meet the special needs of the people of Wales as the process of devolution continues.’  Sir David Lloyd Jones will remain vigilant on our behalf in ensuring that the machinery of justice serves the needs of the people of Wales. 

It is a great privilege to present him as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.”

Eight new Fellows are being honoured by Aberystwyth University at this year’s ceremonies which take place between Tuesday 10 and Friday 13 July.

The title of Fellow is awarded to honour distinguished people who have a close association with Aberystwyth University or who have made an outstanding contribution to professional or public life in Wales.

The 2012 Fellows are the actor Michael Sheen, TV presenter Alex Jones, Professor Michael Clarke, Director of the Royal United Services Institute, Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose, Dr Jan Jaroslav Pinkava, Oscar winner, Rev. John Gwilym Jones, Former Archdruid of Wales, Caitlin Moran, Broadcaster, TV critic and columnist, and Judge Sir David Lloyd Jones.