Henry Brooke (judge)

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Sir Henry Brooke CMG (born 19 July 1936) is a retired British judge. He became a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1996, and became Vice-President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in 2003. He retired from judicial office on 30 September 2006.

Early life

He undertook National Service in the Royal Engineers, and then studied Greats (classical literature and ancient history) at Balliol College, Oxford.

Legal career

He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1963, and was Junior Counsel to the Crown (Common Law) from 1978 to 1981. He become a Queen's Counsel in 1981, and was a Recorder from 1983 to 1988.

He practised at Fountain Court Chambers until he was appointed as a High Court Judge assigned to the Queen's Bench Division in 1988, and received the customary knighthood. He was chairman of the Law Commission from 1993 to 1995, and was promoted to become a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1996. He was the judge in charge of the modernisation of the English law courts from 2001 to 2004. He was Vice-President of the Court of Appeal's Civil Division from 2003 to 2006.

He was President of the Society for Computers and Law for nine years, and was a major player in the formation of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII),[1] of which he has been the Chairman of trustees since 2000. He became General Editor of The White Book (Civil Procedure Rules) in 2004,[2] and is a hereditary trustee (now a fellow) of the Wordsworth Trust.


Brooke was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to justice reform in Albania.[3] He also serves as a Patron of Prisoners Abroad, a charity that supports the welfare of Britons imprisoned overseas and their families.

Personal life

Brooke is married with four children.

His parents were British Conservative politicians, Henry Brooke, Baron Brooke of Cumnor and Barbara Brooke, Baroness Brooke of Ystradfellte and Baroness Brooke of Cumnor. His older brother is another Conservative politician, Peter Brooke, Baron Brooke of Sutton Mandeville. He also has two younger sisters, Honor Miller and Margaret Pulfer.


  1. Valedictory Address for Lord Justice Brooke [2006] EWCA Civ B1 (16 August 2006)
  2. Sweet and Maxwell press release 24 February 2004
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60173. p. 3. 16 June 2012.

External links