Deemster facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

A deemster (Manx: briw) is a judge in the Isle of Man. The High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man is usually presided over by a deemster. In the case of the appeal division of that court, a deemster and the Judge of Appeal preside. The deemsters also make the Isle of Man's laws official, by reading them out to the people in English and Manx on Tynwald Day.

The First and Second Deemsters used to have seats in the Legislative Council of the Isle of Man. The Second Deemster lost his seat in 1965 and the First Deemster lost his in 1975.

There are currently three full time Deemsters in the Isle of Man. These are the First Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls (who is also the Deputy Governor), the Second Deemster, and an additional full-time Deemster. The offices of First Deemster, Second Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls are ancient offices. The offices of First Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls were joined in 1918 and a new office of Deputy Deemster was created in 2002 but abolished in 2009 Additional deemsters, full-time or part-time, may now be appointed; the present full-time additional deemster previously held the office of Deputy Deemster, and additional part-time deemsters (previously called 'Acting Deemsters') are appointed from time to time to hear a particular case.

The current Deemsters are:

  • the First Deemster (Manx: Briwnyssey) and Clerk of the Rolls (Manx: Cleragh ny Lioaryn), David Doyle QC
  • the Second Deemster, (vacant)
  • Deemster Andrew Corlett and
  • the Judge of Appeal, Geoffrey Tattersall QC

The First Deemster, Second Deemster and Judge of Appeal are appointed by, and hold office during the pleasure of, Queen Elizabeth II, (acting on the advice of the UK's Secretary of State for Justice). Additional Deemsters are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor on the recommendation of the First Deemster.By virtue of being ex-officio Deputy Governor, the First Deemster acts in place of the Lieutenant Governor in the latter's absence, or during a vacancy in that office.

Unlike judges in the United Kingdom, Deemsters have no security of tenure, and thus legal protection against dismissal by the government. The process whereby the appointment and removal of Manx judges occurs on the formal advice of United Kingdom politicians is seen as an effective alternative.

First Deemsters

  • Daniel Lace, 1765-1812
  • John Crellin, 1812-1816
  • Norris Moore, 1816-1819
  • Thomas Gawne, 1819-1823
  • John Christian, 1823-1847
  • John Joseph Heywood, 1847-1855
  • Sir William Drinkwater, 1855-1898
  • Sir James Gell, 1898-1900
  • Thomas Kneen, 1900-1905
  • Stevenson Stewart Moore, 1905-1916

First Deemsters and Clerk of the Rolls

  • Stevenson Stewart Moore, 1916-1921
  • Charles Cheslyn Callow, 1921-1934
  • Reginald Douglas Farrant, 1934-1947
  • William Percy Cowley, 1947-1958
  • Sydney James Kneale, 1958-1969
  • George Edgar Moore, 1969-1974
  • Robert Kinley Eason, 1974-1980
  • Arthur Christian Luft, 1980-1988
  • John William Corrin QC,, 1988-1998
  • Thomas William Cain QC, 1998-2003
  • Michael Kerruish QC, 2003-2010
  • David Doyle QC, 20 December 2010 - present

Second Deemsters

  • Peter John Heywood, 1765-1768
  • Daniel Mylrea, 1768-1773
  • Thomas Moore, 1773-1794
  • John Crellin, 1794-1816
  • Thomas Gawne, 1816-1819
  • John Christian, 1819-1820
  • John McHutchin, 1820-1821
  • John Joseph Heywood, 1821-1847
  • Sir William Drinkwater, 1847-1855
  • John Clucas Stephen, 1855-1880
  • Sir Alured Dumbell, 1880-1883
  • Richard Sherwood, 1883-1884
  • John Frederick Gill, 1884-1899
  • Thomas Kneen, 1899-1900
  • Stevenson Stewart Moore, 1900-1905
  • Charles Callow, 1905-1921
  • Frederick Malcolm Lamothe, 1921-1925
  • Reginald Douglas Farrant, 1925-1934
  • William Percy Cowley, 1934-1947
  • Ramsey Gelling Johnson, 1947-1954
  • James Arthur Cain, 1954-1957
  • Sydney James Kneale, 1957-1958
  • Bruce MacPherson, 1958-1969
  • Robert Eason, 1969-1974
  • Arthur Luft, 1974-1980
  • John William Corrin QC, 1980-1988
  • Henry Callow,, 1988-1993
  • Thomas William Cain QC,, 1993-1998
  • Michael Kerruish QC, 1998-2003
  • David Doyle QC, 2003 - 2010

Deputy Deemsters

  • The Hon Mr Justice Sir Peter Smith QC, ?-?
  • Andrew Williamson, 2002 - 2008
  • Andrew Corlett, 2008 - 2009

Related pages

  • Tynwald
  • Clerk of the Rolls
  • Manx Judiciary
  • DMT

Deemster Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.