The Right Honourable Sir Ernest Ryder, The Senior President of Tribunals has appointed Sir Peter Lane to be the Chamber President for the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber with effect from 2 October 2017.
This is the first “internal” appointment of an immigration tribunal judge to the top immigration judge role in my time in practice. Previous appointments since at least 1999 have always been from outside the existing immigration judiciary, including Sirs Andrew Collins, Duncan Ouseley, Henry Hodge, Nicholas Blake, and the outgoing president, Bernard McCloskey.
President McCloskey will be much missed and I will be putting together a (positive!) review of his tenure. Any thoughts or (polite!) anecdotes, do please email them in.
Tribunal Judge Peter Lane has been a thoughtful and serious judge. His appointment as chamber president was foreshadowed recently by his appointment as a High Court judge. Notably, he has wider judicial experience than most immigration judges, having sat on the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, as President of the General Regulatory Chamber (a post he presumably now has to relinquish) and as a Deputy High Court Judge.
The fact that the appointment is an internal one is recognition of the maturation and growth in stature of the immigration judiciary, which is very welcome. Judge Lane will unavoidably face making some very difficult and potentially high profile decisions on some of the country’s most demanding cases and also faces some serious administrative challenges at a time of considerable change in the tribunal service.
We congratulate him and wish him well.
As full career background, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service tells us that Tribunal Judge Peter Richard Lane (64) was admitted as a Solicitor in 1985. He was appointed as a fee-paid Immigration Adjudicator in 1996, as a salaried Immigration Adjudicator in 2001, as a Vice President of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal in 2003 (becoming a Senior Immigration Judge in 2005 and a Judge of the Upper Tribunal in 2008), as a legal member of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in 2005 and as President of the General Regulatory Chamber in 2014. He was authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2016 and was appointed as a High Court Judge on 2 October 2017.