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Honorary Degree Recipient

Lord Woolf picThe Honorable Lord Woolf is a highly respected advocate, judge, and public intellectual. He has been a cutting-edge advocate, arguing cases for the Crown in the European Court of Justice. For several years he was a congenial professor of law who served for four years as President of the Association of Law Teachers. From 1979 to 2005, he had an amazing career as a judge, serving both as a trial judge (Judge, High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division) and an Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Lord Justice of Appeal), and serving in all of the highest positions of the judiciary: Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (“law lord”), Master of the Rolls, and Chief Justice of England and Wales. His measured judgments have earned for him a reputation as “one of the most eminent jurists of the United Kingdom.” Since 1992 he has served in the House of Lords as a Life Peer. He is a prolific legal scholar who has delivered dozens of invited lectures and has published many articles on critical dimensions of the law and its development.

During his long tenure as a judge, Lord Woolf was universally regarded with deep respect and high esteem for his attentiveness to the details of a case, which is at the heart of the Common Law method of adjudication. He is esteemed highly by members of the legal profession and the judiciary in the United Kingdom. To illustrate this respect, when Lord Woolf retired from the bench, his fellow judges and barristers commissioned a bust of his Lordship, which now has a place of honor in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London. To be honored in this way is rare in that culture, even more so while a judge is still living.

Lord Woolf has been a dedicated friend and supporter of Valparaiso University. Since 1992 he has hosted the students participating in Law School’s annual summer program in London and Cambridge. This has enabled out students to have privileged access to the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand, the Houses of Parliament, and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom