A Series: Public Interest Careers Pt 7 (JLAP Interviews)

Sir James Michael Dingemans

Interviewed by Sahana Karthik 

Sir James Michael Dingemans, styled The Rt Hon Lord Justice Dingemans, is a Court of Appeal judge, who was recently appointed as the lead judge for International Relations with effect from 26 February 2021. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2019, has been the Vice President of the Queen’s Bench Division since February 2020 and previously served as a High Court judge. Having grown up as a naval child and residing in a multitude of countries such as Singapore, Gibraltar and Scotland, his Lordship stresses the imperative nature of a global perspective.

He is also a strong proponent of the rule of law and advocates for involvement in pro bono projects- at any stage of a legal career or education- and has most notably been involved in appealing against a sentence of death (Bernard v The State [2007] UKPC; [2007] 2 Cr App R. 22) and challenging the constitutionality of the mandatory sentence of death (Miguel v Trinidad and Tobago [2011] UKPC 14; [2012] 1 AC 361).

Outside of his judiciary duties, Lord Justice Dingemans was a former Rugby Union player and has even been selected as a judicial and appeal officer by World Rugby for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. He credits the sport with developing ones’ quick thinking skills and ability to make decisions under pressure. As the first member of his family to enter the legal profession, he empathises with the difficulties many students of a similar background may face when venturing into the unfamiliar and in reflecting on his career, highlights some steps that students can take to reach similar great heights of success. 

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