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New High Court judge appointed in Northern Ireland

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A new High Court judge has been appointed in Northern Ireland.

Mr Justice Stephen Fowler was sworn into office at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast today.

He takes up the new appointment following a distinguished legal career as a barrister in some of the most high-profile, complex criminal cases in the jurisdiction, and service in other senior judicial roles.

Lady Chief Justice Dame Siobhan Keegan told those who attended the swearing-in ceremony: “I have no doubt that Mr Justice Fowler will be an invaluable addition to our High Court Bench.”

Educated at Queen’s University in Belfast, he was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in September 1984 and took silk in June 2006. He is also a member of the Bar of Ireland.

During practice as a barrister he specialised in criminal law, conducted serious criminal trials, advised the Attorney General, and took cases at the highest level in the Court of Appeal.

In January 2011 he was appointed a County Court Judge, gaining further experience in civil and family law.

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Since then, he has held positions as the County Court Judge for the District of Fermanagh and Tyrone, and for Belfast.

In November 2020 he was appointed as the Presiding County Court Judge and the Recorder of Belfast.

Praising his work in that role, Dame Siobhan said: “He has contributed greatly in managing the Criminal Courts during the challenges we have faced during the pandemic to ensure the administration of justice continued in our jurisdiction.”

Mr Justice Fowler has also served as an extradition judge, participated on the Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board, and was appointed a coroner for legacy inquests.

Offering best wishes to her judicial colleague, the Lady Chief Justice also emphasised: “Service in judicial office is for the benefit of the community as a whole.”


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