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First academic to become Supreme Court judge to be sworn in at closed ceremony next month

The first Justice of the Supreme Court to be appointed direct from academia, Professor Andrew Burrows, will be sworn in at a closed ceremony on 2 June, it has been announced.

Professor Burrows is Professor of the Law of England at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the format of the swearing-in ceremony will be significantly modified to ensure that latest Government guidance on social distancing is observed.

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which established the Supreme Court, requires that a person who is appointed as a Justice must take the required oaths in the presence of the President of the Court.

Professor Burrows is due to sit as a Justice of the Supreme Court in June, so his swearing-in could not be postponed until later in the year.

The closed ceremony will take place in the Library at the Supreme Court building. Those attending in person will be kept to an absolute minimum, the Supreme Court said.

All Justices, except for the Supreme Court President, Lord Reed, will attend ‘virtually’ and take part by video conference.

A ceremony of the usual kind will be held for Professor Burrows when circumstances allow, at which time he can renew the oaths that he will take on 2 June, the Supreme Court said.

Professor Burrows replaces Lord Wilson, who retired on 9 May.