Image of the gates of the Liverpool Cathedral

Lord Jonathan Mance

Oration

Presented by: Professor Frank Sanderson

Honorable Honorable Pro-Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting Lord Justice Mance for the award of an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

In 2005, The Queen appointed Lord Justice Mance a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, commonly known as a Law Lord. In 2009, with the establishment of the Supreme Court, he became a Justice of the Supreme Court - the court of last resort and the highest Appellate court in the UK. 

Jonathan Hugh Mance was born on 1943 in Godalming, Surrey, one of four children of Sir Henry Mance, a senior figure in Lloyd's Register. Like his father, he attended Charterhouse School and gained a scholarship to study Law at University College, Oxford. 

After graduation he spent time with a law firm in Hamburg shortly after the Beatles had made their mark in that city. He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1965 and became a QC in 1982, practised at the commercial bar and sat as a Recorder from 1990-1993. 

He has chaired various Banking Appeals Tribunals and was a founder director of the Bar Mutual Indemnity Insurance Fund. He was also Deputy President, then President of the British Insurance Law Association. In 1993 he became a High Court Judge in the Queen's Bench Division, receiving a knighthood at the same time. And in 1999 he was appointed to the Court of Appeal as a Lord Justice of Appeal, and appointed to the Privy Council. 

In 2005, he was appointed a Lord Appeal in Ordinary and raised to the Peerage as Baron Mance of Frognal in the London Borough of Camden. On 1 October 2009 he and nine other Lords of Appeal became Justices of the Supreme Court upon that body's inauguration. 

Early in his career, he developed a special interest in European and international law. He represents the United Kingdom on the Council of Europe's Consultative Council of European Judges, being elected its first chair from 2000 to 2003. He has been a trustee of the European Law Academy from 2003. He is a member of the UN supported Judicial Integrity Group and of the seven person panel set up under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (article 255) to give an opinion on candidates' suitability to perform the duties of Judge and Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice and General Court.  

He chairs the International Law Association and is a member of the Lord Chancellor's advisory body on private international law. He is an adviser to the ILA Study Group on the Practice and Procedure of International Courts and Tribunals which has produced the Burgh House Principles on the Independence of the International Judiciary, and which is currently working on draft Principles concerning the Professional Conduct of Counsel and Advisers in Proceedings before International Courts and Tribunals.  

In 2006 he led a working group which made recommendations about enforcing laws and protecting human rights in the troubled Great Lakes region of Africa.  

In 2008 he led an international delegation reporting on the problems of impunity in relation to violence against women in the Congo. He served from 2007 to 2009 on the House of Lords European Union Select Committee, chairing the sub-committee which scrutinises proposals concerning European law and institutions. Jonathan Mance married Mary Arden (Mary who is now Dame Mary Arden and a Fellow of LJMU is here today) in the Lady Chapel of this Cathedral in 1973. 

Since then, there has been a marked similarity in their career development. Although they have pursued different specialisms, Jonathon was once offered a case against Mary but refused to take it - he is obviously a wise man. And on another occasion, he led his wife in a case which he says was not his most successful outing, adding "despite Mary's formidable efficiency" - a very wise man. They eventually became the first married couple ever to serve concurrently on the Court of Appeal.  

Despite his great achievements and prodigious workload Lord Mance does recognise the importance of relaxation: he enjoys classical music and opera, and plays tennis to a good standard every week. At least he did play every week until a recent incident which no doubt Jonathan will tell you about shortly.  

Lord Mance is a regular visitor to Liverpool and in 2007 delivered LJMU's annual Liverpool Law Review Lecture on Human Rights, Privacy and the Public Interest. It was a great privilege for our Law students to have the opportunity to listen to and to question one of the most eminent lawyers of his generation. He is at the pinnacle of his profession and we are proud to honour Lord Mance for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession. 

Thus I have great pleasure in presenting Lord Justice Mance, this most distinguished person, for admission to our highest honour of Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.