Rodney Irwin, Baron Irwin

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The Right Honourable

The Lord Irwin
Chief Justice of New Ingerland
In office
13 June 2005 – 16 March 2018
Monarch Geoffrey VII
Preceded by The Viscountess Hall
Succeeded by The Baroness Heath of Reddestone
Personal details
Born (1944-05-27) 27 May 1944 (age 77)
Lunenborough, ILUN
Alma mater Ilmbank College
University College Kingsbury
Profession Lawyer
Religion Christian (Ingerian)

The Right Honourable Justice Rodney Michael Irwin, Baron Irwin CM KC EC (born 27 May 1944) was the 19th Chief Justice of New Ingerland. Appointed in 2005, Justice Irwin previously served as a Chief Judge of the Crown Court before his appointment to the Judicial Committee of the Executive Council. He retired from the Committee on the 16 March 2018.

Lord Irwin is well known for his articulate opinions, often drawing on findings from a variety of sources. Over the first years of his appointment to the Committee, Irwin has shown a strong willingness to join the opinions of others, and will not lead unless the Committee is strongly divided. This in turn has made Irwin a well respected figure in the Committee and a champion of consensus rulings over simple majority findings.

Early life and education

Rodney Michael Irwin was born in Lunenborough on the 27 May 1944, the only child to Leo and Norma Irwin. Rodney's father was a long serving solicitor, who joined the New Ingerland Army at the outbreak of the Second World War; whilst his mother was a housewife, having left a job as a teacher in 1942 to start a family. Complications from Rodney's birth prevented Norma conceiving again, and there were no further children in the family.

Despite this, the young Irwin grew up in a loving family with a strong academic background and beliefs. By the age of ten, Irwin was fluent (for his age) in Latin and French and had shown a strong memory and attention to detail that would serve him well in adulthood. From 1949 Irwin attended school, being sent first to Rous Hill Primary and then later Ilmbank College from 1956 to 1962.

Irwin matriculated in 1962, and was accepted to study law at University College Kingsbury in 1963. He completed a Bachelor of Arts/LLB over five years before going onto a further year of honours in 1967. Irwin completed the Legal Practice Course in 1968 in Kingsbury, and in 1969 he returned to Lunenborough to become a training clerk with the firm Jenkins, Ross, and Paterson.

Legal career

With the completion of his legal apprenticeship in 1971, Irwin would remain a solicitor with Jenkins, Ross, and Paterson for another seven years. In that time, he took on a broad range of work beginning with conveyancing before moving into equity and later, company law. The firm to which Irwin belonged was considered to be one of the best firms are dealing with equity matters on the Lunen Island.

In 1978, Irwin returned to study and undertook the necessary studies required to become a barrister. After completing his twelve months of study, Irwin was called to the bar in 1980. Irwin remained with Jenkins, Ross, and Paterson, having become a senior partner in the firm the previous year. As a junior barrister, Irwin appeared in some particularly interesting cases of the 1980s, including Westmann Lewis v Jackson in 1983, and Beauchamp v Manley in 1985. Having taken silk in 1987, Irwin also played a major role in Brown v Kellaway. The work in both these cases brought Irwin into the legal limelight and in 1990 he was considered for a position on the bench by the Judicial Appointments Commission.


In 1990, Irwin was made a Recorder of the Crown Court. His exceptional talents made him eminently suitable for elevation to the court.

Chief Justice

With the retirement of The Viscountess Hall in 2005, the Judicial Appointments Commission settled on Irwin as her successor to the post of Chief Justice.

On the 6 February 2018 Irwin announced he would retire from the Committee on the 16 March 2018. Unless he chooses to retire early, Irwin's term on the Committee would have expired upon his 75th birthday on the 27 May 2019.

Titles, styles, honours and arms


  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Irwin, KC CM EC (2006-present)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Irwin, KC EC (2005-2006)
  • The Hon. Mr Justice Irwin, KC EC (2000-2005)
  • His Honour Judge Irwin, KC (1990-2000)
  • Mr Rodney Irwin, KC (1987-1990)
  • Mr Rodney Irwin, Esq. (1944-1987)



References and notes

Other links

Legal offices
Preceded by
The Viscountess Hall
Chief Justice of New Ingerland
2005 – 2018
Succeeded by
The Baroness Heath of Reddestone
Peerage of New Ingerland
New creation Baron Irwin
2005 – Present
David Irwin