FoskettThe Judiciary website has disclosed that Mr Justice Foskett (pictured) has been appointed as the Judge in Charge of the Jury and Non-Jury Lists.  The position has remained vacant since the retirement of Mr Justice Tugendhat in June 2014.

The appointment of Mr Justice Tugendhat to the post in September 2010 as the successor to Mr Justice Eady attracted national media publicity. However, in 2015 there was no announcement of the appointment by the judicial communications office and there has been no media publicity.

As the number of privacy injunctions and libel trials has declined over recent years, so the media have apparently lost interest in the question as to who occupies the position of “Judge in Charge of the Jury List” (in effect, the senior media judge).

There appears to have been some discussion as to whether the distinction between the “non-jury” and the “jury list” should be maintained.  As a result of the removal of the right to jury trial in defamation cases by section 11 of the Defamation Act 2013 it is likely that all such cases will now be tried by judge alone.  However, for the present it appears that two separate lists will be maintained.

Sir David Foskett was born on 19 March 1949 and called to the bar in 1972 and took silk in 1991  He was appointed as a Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in 2007.  He is the author of the leading textbook The Law and Practice of Compromise (1980, 8th Edn 2015). He is the Liaison Judge for the Interim Applications Court and is the author of “A guide for self-represented litigants” – published in January 2013 (see our post here).

As far as we are aware, Mr Justice Foskett has not been involved in any libel or privacy cases whether at the Bar or on the Bench.  It seems likely that such cases will continue to be dealt with by one of the judges with media experience: Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, Mr Justice Dingemans, Mr Justice Nicol or Mr Justice Warby.