The nation’s most senior family judge has announced plans to step down next year.
Sir James Munby, who will turn 69 in July, has been President of the Family Division since January 2013, taking over the role from Sir Nicholas Wall. A spokesman for the judiciary has now announced that he will retire in 18 months’ time.
During his time as President, Sir James has become well known for his forthright views on a variety of legal topics, along with the publication of regular bulletins known as the View from the President’s Chambers. In the most recent of these he complained about the use of antiquated video equipment in the High Court amongst other topics.
Sir James has been also been an enthusiastic proponent of reform across the English legal system and outspoken on such issues as the protection of vulnerable witnesses and the transparency of family court proceedings.
His successor is unlikely to be announced before next year. A decision will be made by a selection panel made up of senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice.
Sir James is a former barrister who became a QC in 1988 and a High Court Judge in 2000. He served as Chair of the Law Commission prior to his appointment as President.
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