Thursday 9th November 2023

(6 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord McFall of Alcluith Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord McFall of Alcluith)
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My Lords, the former Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, died on 7 November. On behalf of the House, I extend our condolences to the noble and learned Lord’s family and friends.

Lord Judge was one of the wisest and kindest men I have ever met. He was never one to use two words where one would suffice, and was always keen to hear all sides before forming an opinion. Igor had a marvellous ability to listen intently, reflect quietly and then interject, usually with a brief few words that brought clarity to a discussion. I valued greatly his advice and support to me as Lord Speaker. His lifelong history of service as a Queen’s Counsel, a judge, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and an active Member of this House—including, most recently, the Convenor of the Cross Benches until earlier this year—speaks for itself. How fortunate we were to serve alongside him. He will be much missed by noble Lords and, I know, by the staff of the House.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, I know that noble Lords from across the House were deeply shocked and saddened to learn yesterday of the passing of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge. I add my sadness and deepest condolences to his family.

I enjoyed nearly a year with him as Convenor of the Cross Benches. Whatever the great matters of state that we should have been discussing, we usually ended up just talking about our families. My oh my, he loved his family so much—that is probably the one takeaway I had from him.

As is normal, we will now hear tributes from the usual channels. I know that many noble Lords have passed their heartfelt remarks on to the leaders and convenor, who will, I am sure, do their best to reflect the outpourings of admiration and sadness that they have received. I am also aware that some other noble Lords may feel that they want to pay tribute today. It is customary for the focus of tributes to come from the leaders and usual channels but, if other noble Lords would like to contribute, I respectfully ask that their contributions be as brief as possible. I expect any Back-Bench remarks to be no more than a minute long, as we have seen with other similar tributes.

Noble Lords may also find it helpful to know that the Office of the Convenor of the Cross Benches is co-ordinating written tributes and regards for Lord Judge’s family, should noble Lords wish to pass those on. I have no doubt that, in the fullness of time, they will be very warmly received.

Lord True Portrait The Lord Privy Seal (Lord True) (Con)
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My Lords, on happier mornings than this one, after I became the Leader of your Lordships’ House, there would from time to time come a knock on my door and a smiling, spectacled face would somewhat hesitantly edge round it. “May I have a word?”, that gentle, quiet-spoken voice would ask. How readily I always welcomed in the late Lord Judge, mildly puzzled that I would be so deferred to by someone so much more gifted than me.

Of course, infinite courtesy was a mark of his, as was that genial humility that belied his remarkable career. He was born in Malta in 1941 and, as a baby, was almost killed during the fascist siege; thank goodness for the errant hand of that Axis bomb aimer. He became a brilliant scholar. He was called to the Bar in 1963, took Silk in 1979 and, as we know, went on to become a great judge, first in the High Court in 1988, and then as a Justice of Appeal in 1996. He became the President of the Queen’s Bench Division in 2005 and was the Lord Chief Justice from 2008 to 2013.

Beyond the bare bones, I am not qualified to speak of that very great legal career but, when he retired as Lord Chief Justice, he became, I would submit, a very great parliamentarian. Noble Lords know how it is in this place: no one ever reads a speech. You sometimes struggle to calculate, as yet another page of typed script is turned, how long it is going to go on. But with Igor it was so different. He would appear with a few notes on a couple of sheets of letter paper, often written down not much before, and would speak for four minutes or so in the simplest and most beautiful English, forged into arguments of steel and illumined by humour, quote or anecdote. He would seize the whole House by the scruff of the neck and compel its attention.

He became Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers in 2019 and, as Cabinet Office Minister responsible for the constitution and later as Leader of your Lordships’ House, I regularly met him. My predecessor, my noble friend Lady Evans of Bowes Park, and my noble friend Lord Ashton of Hyde, who both much regret not being able to be here, have asked me to express their fondest appreciation of their own exchanges with Lord Judge in the usual channels and how they ever valued his charm and sound sense—as they saw it, a mentor, counsellor and friend. Once, my noble friend Lord Ashton remembers that, in a very British manner, they conducted a whole negotiation with a House of Lords mouse which neither of them mentioned sitting motionless on the chair behind Lord Judge’s right ear. Igor, it seems, like Orpheus, could even charm the animals.

Certainly, to discuss an issue with him was a joy, whether you agreed or disagreed. His keen intelligence, good humour and firmness of principle were always there, but with that open mind. He was a man of utter integrity; he had a profound passion for the common law, the ancient liberties of our land, parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law—on which, of course, we agreed. Where we differed, which I hated, the most usual point of difference was over the prerogative or the role of the Executive. Igor was an admirer of the great jurist and parliamentarian Sir Edward Coke and, being a bookish man and fathoming another such in me, he generously gave me Coke’s biography, which he thought might persuade me during his differences with the Government over the repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. One thing I could agree with Coke on was his dictum “Lex est tutissima cassis”—the law is our safest shield. Igor took that as a title for a book and a watchword for life; and, in his sure, safe judgment in court and in this place, he was the living embodiment of it.

His deeply rooted constitutionalism rested in a lifelong interest in history, which it so happened we had both read at the same university. When the business was done, he would enjoy a talk of history or cricket—or music, a love he inherited from a gifted mother, who we can deduce admired Stravinsky. Your Lordships may allow me one anecdote. When, as Leader, within a matter of days, I was plunged into having to do one of the most difficult things I have ever had to—pronounce the eulogy for our late Queen—I was struggling alone an hour before in my office wondering if I would be able to say what I thought the House would want to hear without actually breaking down. Then came that gentle knock on the door and the smiling face came round. It was Igor. “How are you getting on?”, he asked kindly. I told him my problem. “Just read the difficult bits aloud four or five times,” he said, “and then you will know them by heart or be familiar. That will get you through.” Of course, as ever, Igor’s advice was right.

It seems a silly, small thing, that incident, but for me it encapsulated our late noble and learned friend’s intuitive consideration for others, his personal kindness, knowledge and experience, so freely given to us all. “May I have a word?” My Lords, if only we had had and could yet have the privilege of chapters and volumes of his words—words of crystalline clarity, deepest wisdom and great humanity. His measured words will long be treasured and remembered by all of us who heard them in this place and elsewhere. Our hearts go out to his beloved wife, Judith, his support for 58 years, and to all his family and friends. Igor adopted the motto, I am sure with Lady Judge in mind, “Sine amore nihil”—without love, there is nothing. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the late Lord Judge meant everything to all of us and, in his great charm and genius, this House loved him too. We will miss him enormously.
Baroness Smith of Basildon Portrait Baroness Smith of Basildon (Lab)
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My Lords, I thank the Lord Privy Seal for what I thought was a remarkable tribute to Igor Judge. I thought he entirely captured the essence of the man, who was a greatly esteemed colleague and much-admired friend of us all. A towering figure in the legal world as an advocate and judge, he brought his profound intellect and great humanity to the many landmark cases he was part of. He is rightly admired as having been a truly great Lord Chief Justice. But it was his personal qualities of kindness and decency, which came with a somewhat mischievous wit and sense of humour, that he used to great effect both in his legal career and in your Lordships’ House.

I must say that as I was drafting notes for my comments today, taking the advice of the Lord Privy Seal and Igor previously, I found I was smiling at so many memories we had. Even through sadness, he can bring a smile to us. Like the noble Lord, Lord True, I so well remember that he would pop his head round the door with what I remember as a somewhat cheeky grin, and “May I have a word?”, he would say with absolute, very genuine courtesy. Such was the pleasure of a conversation with him that it often lasted a little longer than a word; it would meander around so many different issues and subjects over the course of the time we were talking. I greatly valued his advice on constitutional and legal issues and many others.

His patience was never condescending or patronising. I would enjoy our discussions, and at times he would half-jokingly say to me, “You politicians”. Yet he had a natural, instinctive gift for the best of politics. I could hear his protestations as I suggested that he really was a politician—but he was a great parliamentarian. I was not alone in being in awe of his intellect. In debate, his mild and gentle use of language could pack one powerful punch. When others came armed with sheaves of paper, he would hold a few notes in front of him and speak with honesty, integrity and great authority. I do not think we will ever have a debate in your Lordships’ House that covers the issue of Henry VIII powers without reflecting on what Lord Judge would have said.

His interests away from your Lordships’ House were wide. He loved his garden; he told me what he liked the most was the feel of the earth in his hand, and you can just picture that. His discussions of important parliamentary matters and great affairs of state with the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy of Southwark, would often digress into football. One supported Leicester City and the other Millwall; no prizes for guessing which one was which. They would watch out for each other’s weekend scores and then enjoy the rivalry between them in the following week.

To describe somebody as larger than life is usually taken to mean a very loud, physical and noisy presence, yet Igor was undoubtedly a larger-than-life presence through his intellect, his modesty, wit and decency. I did not take his advice enough. Our thoughts are with his much-loved wife Judith, his family and his friends.

Lord Newby Portrait Lord Newby (LD)
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My Lords, like other Members of your Lordships’ House, it was with great shock and sadness that I heard of Lord Judge’s death. I know that he was a devoted father and grandfather; he once told me with great pride that his role when the family went sea-bathing was to hold all the towels—he never dreamed of getting in the sea himself. Our thoughts today are primarily with his family as they mourn his loss.

I had my first long conversation with Lord Judge while sitting next to him at the first Queen’s Speech he attended as Convenor. He told me that he had been a great collector of 15th century manuscripts. We then spoke about the history of the period and the start of the Tudor dynasty. It was this great love and knowledge of the period that had alerted him to Henry VIII’s role in taking from Parliament some of its traditional legislative power. From this understanding sprang his deep antipathy for the current use of such powers, on which he spoke with such passion and persistence.

His speeches exhibited the hallmarks of a fine legal mind. He was crystal clear. He could explain the most complex arguments in language that everyone could readily understand. He was succinct: Igor rarely, if ever, made a long speech. He got straight to the point and when he had made it, he sat down. And he was ruthless: he was the master of asking Ministers the unanswerable question. As they floundered in response, he would pin them with a quizzical frown.

But he was much more than a great legal brain. He was witty. He saw the ridiculous side of some of the things we do in your Lordships’ House with a clear eye, a despairing shake of the head and an often hilarious response. He was a great reader of people. He had the measure of us all and would sometimes, in an unguarded moment, let a privileged few know what he really thought of some of his colleagues. It was not always totally complimentary, but it was usually correct.

He was wise. His reading and understanding of history, coupled with his long and distinguished career at the Bar, gave him a broad perspective from which to make judgments and give opinions—not just on the great issues of state, but also on the many arcane issues on which he was expected to express an opinion on the innumerable internal committees of your Lordships’ House on which he sat.

Finally, he was kind. There was a warmth about him, which was expressed with a sympathetic smile, a slightly cocked listening ear and a kind word.

I fear that he did not completely succeed in his campaign to expunge Henry VIII powers from new pieces of legislation. It now falls on the rest of us to pick up this baton. In doing so, we will not just be doing it for the good governance of the country: we will be doing it for Igor.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (CB)
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My Lords, there is no such thing as a speech too short; a maxim I first heard from Igor before I entered the House. I thank the three speakers so far on behalf of our Benches—I need the advice as well—for the contributions, which have been so measured and have brought a lot of pleasure in listening to them.

Igor, of course, was born in Malta in 1941 during the siege that lasted 18 months. Malta was the most bombed place in Europe and was devastated. He told me he ascribed his humility and, I think, his kindness to the fact he lived in this wasteland for the first few years of his life. I always wondered how someone could go through his career and be so successful and yet have that humility and kindness. Of course, we know that Igor’s father, Raymond, was called Judge, but what most people do not know is that his remarkable mother, Rosa, had a maiden name of Micaleff, which is the Maltese word for judge. Igor observed to me that he had, therefore, very little choice in his chosen profession.

At 13, he came to school in England at the Oratory, where a fellow pupil was the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley of Knighton, who reminded me last night of Igor’s prowess at cricket, and said he had a reputation from that early age for sagacity and integrity. From there he went to Magdalene, Cambridge, and he was called to the Bar in 1963. He met Judith shortly after this; many people have already said what a strong marriage that was and how founded in love. I have been in touch with Judith; I hope she is watching today, and I know that some of her family are. Igor described her as his better half, which was a lovely way of doing so. He took enormous pride in his three children and that great clutch of grandchildren. In my many discussions with him over the past few months as he was mentoring me, the conversation—just like the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, was saying—immediately wandered across to his grandchildren and the great pride that he had in their careers.

His legal career meant that he spent 32 years sitting on various Benches. I know that many will want to speak today to talk about appearing before him at the various levels. Everyone always felt that not only was he utterly competent but that he was prepared to listen to whatever the barrister concerned had to say. Anyway, to achieve presidency of the Queen’s Bench Division and go on to Lord Chief Justice was something amazing. To then come here and be such a great parliamentarian and colleague, who was always patient and always there, is something we should all aspire to, and I suspect we will not see it again in our lives.

When he arrived here, he did not shirk the challenge: he concentrated his political energies on the great balance between Parliament and the Executive. His weapons of choice were wit and that lethal logic. He briefly held the record for the size of a government defeat on one of the amendments in the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, but he took no pleasure in that. He took pleasure only when, eventually, the point that he wanted to have included was conceded by the Government. I recently spent some time discussing Cross-Bench voting patterns with Igor—something that has come up in speeches over the last couple of days. He was of the view that a vote against the Government was motivated either by opposition to that Government or by a desire to improve law; he voted only using this latter principle.

Igor had many great passions and interests. He loved cricket, having captained the Oratory, and was naturally considering whether to challenge the Government to a match given the recent addition of the noble Lord, Lord Botham, to our ranks. He discussed this in some detail with his private personal physician and equal cricket fan, the noble Lord, Lord Patel. He loved poetry, especially TS Elliot, and used to come bouncing into the Cross-Bench office reciting Elliot’s poems, which are incredibly complicated, but he never had a problem with that.

He loved Leicester City. Among his fellow fans are the noble Baronesses, Lady Henig and Lady Fraser, and the noble Lord, Lord Bourne. I know he was hopeful of trying to persuade the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy, to renounce and give up Millwall and come over to the blues.

There are a large number of Cross-Bench Members who could not be here today and many have helped me to prepare these few thoughts. They have asked me to record their desire to pay tribute to the House. They are my noble friends Lord Patel, Lady Willis, Lord Jay, Lord Alton, Lady Lane-Fox, Lord Kakkar, Lord Anderson, Lady Meacher, Lord Trees—from his hospital bed in Perth—Lord Hastings and my noble and learned friend Lord Hope. They are among the many from every side of the House and every level and department of the House’s staff who, in the last days, have come up to me to express their shock and great grief at the passing of Igor. The common extra theme is Igor’s integrity, his clarity of thought and his gentle humour.
There is no such thing as a speech too short. I hope Igor does not mind my having batted on a bit.
Lord Bishop of Gloucester Portrait The Lord Bishop of Gloucester
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My Lords, these Benches echo all that has been said so movingly about this remarkable and learned man, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge. As has been expressed, I and others felt a deep sadness on hearing the news of his death.

On behalf of these Benches, I have stood and given tributes on a number of occasions and, each time, very poignantly for me, I followed Lord Judge. He was wise, kind, humble, gracious and, as has been said, he always had a twinkle in his eye. His life was one of devoted public service to the greater good, be it in the law or the courts, as President of the Queen’s Bench Division and later as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, or as a Member of this House. He was a source of wisdom to me personally in my role as Anglican Bishop for HM Prisons. He would always greet me in the corridors with Shakespearean references to Gloucester. I will personally miss him.

As Convener of the Cross Benches he was a great friend of this Bench. Reference has been made to his speeches, not least on constitutional matters, and I hope that we will return to those so that we keep on listening to his words. As has been said, his interventions were always short; he would just stand up without any notes and he would always hit the nail on the head with just a few words. I said to him on numerous occasions, when I had spoken after him in debates, that I usually just wanted to say, “What he said”.

He contributed to a vast number of journals and books over his career, not least one entitled Christianity and Criminal Law, which brought theologians, lawyers, judges and historians together to discuss the Christian traditions of the law. He never shied away from addressing tricky issues and he often brought a fresh take to a problem of law. He was indeed ruthless, but always with that twinkle in his eye.

His insights and friendships will be greatly missed from all sides of the House. Our condolences go to his beloved family. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Baroness Deech Portrait Baroness Deech (CB)
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My Lords, my late noble and learned friend Lord Judge was, in my view, the judges’ judge, the Lords’ judge and the people’s judge. As judges’ judge, he championed the judiciary, filling a gap that we have sustained ever since the abolition of the old Lord Chancellor post. He kept up morale, not least mine. On my regular visits to him when I was as chair of the Bar Standards Board, he would say, “What’s the matter, Ruth?” As the Lords’ judge, he got to the essence of what we Lords should do and will always be remembered as the upholder of the rule of law by ensuring that parliamentary sovereignty held executive sovereignty in check. As the people’s judge, he followed in the footsteps of Lord Denning, Lord Bingham and Lord Mansfield, in reminding us that we are here to protect everyone from an overmighty executive. If only he were here to greet the first Lady Chief Justice.

Baroness D'Souza Portrait Baroness D'Souza (CB)
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My Lords, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, was a great man and a wise man. He was funny, tough and, as so many have said, extremely kind. He and I were in Oman together, about three or four years ago. At a formal meeting of the State Council, which is the Omani equivalent of this upper House, I was asked a question by one of its Members. It was a long and complicated question, in very rapid and totally incomprehensible English. I had no understanding or clue of what exactly I was being asked, but I floundered on until I was rescued by Igor. He swept down and, with his very graceful words, said, “Perhaps I may add”, which immediately made everything extremely clear. He will be missed immeasurably. Perhaps the best and most lasting tribute we in this House can give him is to challenge wherever and whenever we see Henry VIII powers.

Lord Lisvane Portrait Lord Lisvane (CB)
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My Lords, Igor Judge was a man of warmth, courtesy, humour and wisdom. He moved seamlessly from being a giant of the law to a doughty defender in this House of the constitution. I got to know him when I was Clerk of the House of Commons and he eagerly embraced the proposal that there should be regular meetings between senior members of the judiciary and senior officials of the Commons, which proved to be invaluable.

When my wife was a high sheriff, Igor came down to deliver a superb and memorable high sheriff’s lecture on the threats to our constitution. Away from that serious subject, it was a weekend when the four of us laughed a very great deal. I was privileged to have him, with Betty Boothroyd, as a supporter for my introduction to this House. Thereafter, he was a friend, guide and mentor, as he was to so many.

During what we hoped would be his convalescence, he and I exchanged books by post—on cricket, naturally. My profound sympathies go to Judith and his beloved family. Igor’s loss will be deeply mourned and long felt.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Portrait Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd (CB)
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My Lords, on behalf of the other former judges who cannot be here, I would like to add a short word, as I had the privilege of working closely with my noble and learned friend for 25 years. As has been said, he was unfailing in his kindness to everyone, whatever their position. He had a willingness to listen, but always with an acute understanding of the problem being presented to him and in doing all he could to help.

He led the judiciary in the transformation necessary after the reform of the office of Lord Chancellor. He established new working relations with Parliament and the Government on broad issues, but some involved detailed work, such as going over with the Lord Chancellor—jackets off, late into the night—the drafting of the legislation establishing the current Sentencing Council. He was a man of great learning, but it was lightly worn. It was always evident here, but he often used it to add humour to ceremonies, such as when he opened a court in Chester; he had his own volume of the yearbooks, with their Middle Age cases, which was entirely apposite to that city.

In short, he was a great Chief Justice—a servant of justice with a sense of duty that was wholly unsurpassed.

Lord Lexden Portrait Lord Lexden (Con)
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My Lords, I want to tell your Lordships how glad I am that Lord Judge, with others, secured the total repeal of the wicked laws that turned homosexuals into criminals. When I was a young barrister, I defended a number of them and well remember their pain and suffering. This wonderful man possessed such great humanity.

Viscount Stansgate Portrait Viscount Stansgate (Lab)
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My Lords, I met Lord Judge only at the end of his life. I will regard him as a parliamentarian who spoke with such eloquence, precision and brevity on issues relating to the powers between the Executive and the legislature. He was so kind to me as a new Member; I find this reflected in all the things that everyone has said about him so far, and I pay tribute to him for that alone. I am also very proud of a House that can pay such tribute to such a man.

Baroness Hayman Portrait Baroness Hayman (CB)
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My Lords, like others who have spoken, I corresponded with Lord Judge during his illness. It was mainly about books—he was, indeed, a bookish man—although there was the odd foray into the need for further agitation on secondary legislation. I worried when I sent him a book, because I knew what an erudite man he was, and it was not about cricket or history. It was more frivolous but very important: I sent him Lessons in Chemistry. He absolutely loved it. He wrote back to me about how many of his family he had given it to, including the men in the family as much as the women. The last thing he said was that he was very lucky because he had a father who had instilled in him the importance of the education and empowerment of women. He was a great feminist as well as everything else. He ended that note about his father by saying, “He was a lovely man”. So was Igor.

Baroness Chakrabarti Portrait Baroness Chakrabarti (Lab)
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My Lords, I first knew Igor in my mid-20s as a young Home Office lawyer and later had the privilege of working with him on legislation in your Lordships’ House. He was unchanging in the interim period. We did not always agree but, goodness me, he was a master of disagreeing well. When we did agree, I felt the warmth of his solidarity and wisdom and felt, ridiculously sometimes, almost invincible. He sent notes on both my books—I will not tell noble Lords what he said. I shall miss him hugely.

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Portrait Lord Forsyth of Drumlean (Con)
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My Lords, I had the great privilege of working quite closely with Igor in my role as chairman of the Conservative Peers. My noble friend the Leader of the House and others have said everything about his qualities. I will not repeat them; if he were here, he would tell me off for doing so. But I will make this point: in the course of our lives, we all meet someone whom we will never forget, who made an impact on us. For me, that was Igor Judge. It had something to do with his combination of integrity and kindness but, above all, his respect for Parliament and our constitution, and his ability to try to do everything he could to maintain those little conventions that are our constitution. The other striking thing about him was that he could take a really divisive issue, where daggers were drawn on all sides, and somehow find a compromise that everyone could agree to. Blessed are the peacemakers. We will miss him.

Lord Bird Portrait Lord Bird (CB)
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My Lords, I talked to Lord Judge only about the fact that I went to school very near the Oratory. We were the rough Catholic school, St Thomas More. We would go up to his school and fight with people from there, just because we were awkward. He asked me, “Why was it Catholic fighting Catholic?”, and I said, “I really don’t know”. He was an absolutely magnificent, kindly and thoughtful person. I once made him giggle when I said, “You would have made a brilliant probation officer”.

Lord Hacking Portrait Lord Hacking (Lab)
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My Lords, I found myself as a fellow pupil barrister with Lord Judge. There were just two of us in chambers in 2 Crown Office Row in October 1963, almost exactly 60 years ago. I have known and admired him ever since. I remind your Lordships—and myself—that he had a dark head of hair in those days, which he preferred me not to talk about in later life. When I returned to this House two years ago, he kindly recalled in the Chamber the jousts we had had together as young barristers in the Bedfordshire Quarter Sessions. I am not sure that they were jousts, because he was not a flamboyant, noisy advocate but a quiet, penetrating one and, when he took Silk, a strong and courageous one. So much can be said about the witty and persuasive Igor, who, in a debate not long ago in this House, solemnly read a letter that he had written to himself. He had made his point and made it very well. Golly, he will be missed.

Lord Cormack Portrait Lord Cormack (Con)
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My Lords, for me, Lord Judge was the personification of patriotism. I saw this in a particular sphere that nobody has touched on. For the last decade or so, he was the chairman of a group of people who make an annual award for responsible capitalism. He did that because he believed in the highest standards in all walks of life. The time that he gave to reading the submissions and guiding the judges was just remarkable. I can see the noble Baroness, Lady Bull, who is a recent addition to the judges, nodding. Goodness shone through everything that he did. We shall all be the richer for knowing him and the poorer for his passing.

Lord Hendy Portrait Lord Hendy (Lab)
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My Lords, I had the privilege of knowing Igor for just short of 40 years. We first met in that bitter industrial dispute, the miners’ strike of 1984 to 1985, in the raft of litigation: I was in one case for the National Union of Mineworkers, and he was for the Union of Democratic Mineworkers. The bitterness between the two can be imagined. Out of court he was charm itself, such an easy man to deal with. We co-operated as barristers should, for the benefit of our clients and, of course, the court. But in court—my word—he was a lethal advocate, as has already been said and, indeed, as your Lordships know from his interventions in this House.

I also had the privilege of appearing before him several times in the Court of Appeal in some leading cases that time does not permit a discussion of. He was a wonderful judge: courteous, charming, attentive, concise and, of course, just—as one would expect. Before I met him in this House, I also had dealings with him in another context: I was one of the founders of an organisation called the Free Representation Unit, which arranges young barristers to represent people who would not otherwise be represented in employment tribunals, social security tribunals and so on. Igor was its patron and an ardent supporter. Those qualities demonstrated to me things that I saw so many times when he spoke in this House: his humanity, his empathy for those less fortunate than ourselves, and his respect for the rule of law. I am pleased to say that last night we had an event marking the 51st anniversary of the founding of the FRU and a minute’s silence for Igor. We will miss him, and I will miss him.

Lord Patel Portrait Lord Patel (CB)
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My Lords, I am probably the last speaker, as time is running out. My tribute is very personal. Igor treated me as if I were his confidant, not just about his health but about other things, and we spoke regularly. I last spoke to him last Saturday. He had come out of hospital at the time. He regarded me as a friend, and it was a great privilege. He gave me the impression that I was his personal friend. That is the memory that I will keep of Igor. I shall miss my friend.