Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Judge is tipped to be Lord Chief Justice

High Court judge Sir Declan Morgan is expected to become Northern Ireland’s next Lord Chief Justice.

He will replace Sir Brian Kerr, who later this month will leave the top legal post that he has held for five years.

Sir Declan was called to the Bar in 1976 and took Silk in 1993, before being appointed a High Court judge in May 2004.

He was educated at St Columb’s College, Londonderry, and attended Cambridge and then Queen’s University, Belfast. He is married and has three children.

Last night, a spokesman for the Northern Ireland Court Service declined to comment on the appointment.

He said: “An announcement concerning the appointment of a new Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) for Northern Ireland is expected soon.”

The new LCJ will take up the position at a time of major change in Northern Ireland’s justice system.\[Stephen Alexander\]The DUP and Sinn Fein, who hold the offices of First Minister and Deputy First Minister in the power-sharing Assembly, have agreed to devolve policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont.

A date for the move has not been announced but it is expected to be finalised by the autumn.

The change will see the creation of a Justice Minister at Stormont and the appointment of a new Attorney General for Northern Ireland.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have already announced that John Larkin QC will take on the post of Attorney General when the devolution process is completed.

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