Annual Report 2002-03


Judicial Business

67. The number of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary remained at 12. In October 2002, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe succeeded Lord Slynn of Hadley. On Lord Slynn's retirement, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead was named by Commission as second senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. Lord Saville of Newdigate continued as chairman of the inquiry into the events of 'Bloody Sunday' and so remained largely unavailable to sit judicially in the House.

The Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (The Law Lords) ­: Front Row from left to right, Lord Hutton, Lord Hoffman, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Bingham of Cornwall, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead. Back Row, Brendan Keith (Clerk of the Judicial Office), Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Saville of Newdigate, Lord Millett, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry.

68. Statistics on the number of appeals and petitions for leave presented and disposed of during the year are set out on page 50 below. Appeals which made headlines included the libel action of the footballer, Bruce Grobbelaar; the detention of asylum seekers; the exclusion of violent pupils from schools; the attempt by "the Guinness four" to quash their convictions; the power of the Home Secretary to set minimum sentences; and the legality of cloning.

69. James Vallance White, CB retired after 19 years' service as Fourth Clerk at the Table and Head of the Judicial Office.

The Code of Conduct and Register of Lords' Interests

70. The first Register of Lords' Interests under the new Code of Conduct, adopted by the House in 2001, was published in May 2002. At the end of the year, the Register ran to 288 pages compared with 87 pages under the previous regime. The Register is kept up to date on a daily basis. There are, on average, several dozen changes to the Register each week, and the printed edition quickly becomes out of date. An electronic edition is therefore published on the Internet each week when the House is sitting. A review of the Code of Conduct and the operation of the Register will be carried out in autumn 2003.

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