His Honour Deemster Andrew Corlett has been sworn in as the Isle of Man’s First Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls this week, Wednesday 19 September.
Deemster Corlett took the Oath of Allegiance and the Deemsters’ Oath in a ceremony at Government House. The Warrant of Appointment was presented by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. His Honour succeeds David Doyle who stood down as First Deemster in July this year.
The First Deemster is President of the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man and Clerk of the Rolls. He also holds the position of Deputy Lieutenant Governor, acting for His Excellency as required.
His Honour First Deemster Corlett was called to the Manx and English Bars in 1984. He has worked in private and government practice, in disciplines ranging from commercial litigation and insolvency to employment law and human rights.
He was appointed Second Deemster in 2011 and served in the Appeal Division, presiding over many complex cases and becoming well known as the judge in overall charge of the Family Court.
In a short address after administering the swearing in, Deemster Montgomerie described Deemster Corlett as a man of great intellect and high principle who is courteous to all, adding there could be no greater judicial accolade than appointment as First Deemster.
In his speech Deemster Corlett reflected on developments in the profession during his career, highlighting a strong belief in fair access to justice for all.
Deemster Corlett said:
‘I am honoured to take on this challenging role and to serve the Crown and the people of this island. The administration of justice is as important to society as health and education, and I look forward to helping shape the future of our justice system. One of my aims while in office is to help the public gain a better understanding of the working of the Island’s courts and tribunals.’
Deemster Corlett is Manx born and bred and is a graduate of Pembroke College, Oxford. He was appointed to the office of Deputy Deemster in 2007 and made Deemster in 2009.
A Crown appointment, the First Deemster is appointed by the Queen based on the recommendation of a local selection panel following an open recruitment process.