Court of Appeal Judges
The Court of Appeal is based at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, but has occasional sittings elsewhere in England and Wales. It consists of a Civil Division and a Criminal Division, which between them hear appeals in a wide range of cases covering civil, family and criminal justice. In some cases a further appeal lies, with leave, to the Supreme Court, but in practice the Court of Appeal is the final court of appeal for the great majority of cases.
The Court of Appeal is the Senior Court of Appeal in England and Wales. The Court consists of a number of Senior judges: The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the Master of the Rolls, and the Heads of Division of the High Court, alongside 39 ‘Ordinary’ Lord/Lady Justices of Appeal.
The title for Ordinary Lord/Lady Justices is “Lord/Lady Justice [Surname]” or “[Surname] LJ” for short.
The Civil Division hears appeals from the High Court, County Courts and Tribunals. Its President is the Master of the Rolls. Cases are generally heard by 3 judges, consisting of any combination of the Heads of Division and Lord/Lady Justices of Appeal.
The Criminal Division hears appeals from the Crown Court. Its President is the Lord Chief Justice. Again, cases are generally heard by 3 judges, consisting of a member of the Court of Appeal, together with 2 High Court Judges or one High Court Judge and 1 specially nominated Senior Circuit Judge.
The Heads of Division and Lord/Lady Justices of Appeal also sit on occasion with one or more High Court Judges in the Divisional Court, which hears appeals to the High Court from Magistrates’ courts and certain judicial review cases at first instance.
All Court of Appeal Judges are senior judges with lengthy judicial experience. Appointment is by The King on the recommendation of a selection panel convened by the Judicial Appointments Commission.
For Criminal and Divisional Court hearings Court of Appeal Judges wear a court coat and waistcoat (or a sleeved waistcoat) with skirt or trousers and bands (2 strips of fabric hanging from the front of a collar), a black silk gown and a short wig.
For civil hearings Court of Appeal Judges usually wear the civil robe introduced on 1 October 2008, with gold tabs at the neck of the gown and no wig.
All Court of Appeal judgments can be found online.
Since 2019, many Court of Appeal Civil Division cases have been livestreamed and made available online.