Alan Rodger, Baron Rodger of Earlsferry

Alan Ferguson Rodger, Baron Rodger of Earlsferry, PC, FBA, FRSE (18 September 1944 – 26 June 2011) was a Scottish academic, lawyer, and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

The Lord Rodger of Earlsferry

Lord Roger of Earlsferry Independent.jpg
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
In office
1 October 2009 – 26 June 2011
Nominated byJack Straw
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byThe Lord Reed
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
1 October 2001 – 30 September 2009
Preceded byThe Lord Clyde
Succeeded byPosition eliminated
Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session
In office
Preceded byThe Lord Hope of Craighead
Succeeded byThe Lord Cullen of Whitekirk
Personal details
Alan Ferguson Rodger

(1944-09-18)18 September 1944
Died26 June 2011(2011-06-26) (aged 66)[1]
RelationsT Ferguson Rodger, (father)
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow; New College, Oxford

He served as Lord Advocate, the senior Law Officer of Scotland, before becoming Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session, the head of the country's judiciary. He was then appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lord) and became a Justice of the Supreme Court when the judicial functions of the House of Lords were transferred to that Court.

Early life and careerEdit

Alan Rodger was born on 18 September 1944 in Glasgow, to Professor T Ferguson Rodger, Professor of Psychological Medicine at the University of Glasgow, and Jean Margaret Smith Chalmers, and educated at the independent Kelvinside Academy in the city.[2] He studied at the University of Glasgow, graduating with an MA, and at the University's School of Law, taking an LLB.[2] He then studied at New College, Oxford—under David Daube, Regius Professor of Civil Law—where he graduated with an MA (by decree) and DPhil, and was Dyke Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, from 1969 to 1970 and a Fellow of New College from 1970 to 1972.[2]

He became an advocate in 1974[3] and was Clerk of the Faculty of Advocates from 1976 to 1979. He was a Member of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland from 1981 to 1984, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1985.[2][3] He was an Advocate Depute from 1985 to 1988 and was appointed Solicitor General for Scotland in 1989, being promoted to Lord Advocate in 1992, and was created a life peer as Baron Rodger of Earlsferry, of Earlsferry in the District of North East Fife on 29 April 1992,[4] and was appointed to the Privy Council.[2][3]

Judicial careerEdit

Rodger was appointed a Senator of the College of Justice, a judge of the High Court of Justiciary and Court of Session, in 1995,[5] He became Lord Justice General and Lord President in 1996. He was appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 2001, upon the retirement of Lord Clyde. He and nine other Lords of Appeal in Ordinary became Justices of the Supreme Court upon that body's inauguration on 1 October 2009.


Lord Rodger of Earlsferry died on 26 June 2011 after a short illness.[1][6] Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who provoked fury after criticising Rodger less than a month earlier,[7] said he had made an "outstanding contribution" to Scottish public life.[6]


Lord Rodger of Earlsferry was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1991, and the same year was the Maccabaean Lecturer at the Academy. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an Honorary Bencher at Lincoln's Inn in 1992, and an Honorary Bencher of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland in 1998. Hon. Mem., SPTL, subseq. SLS, 1992; Corresp. Mem., Bayerische Akad. der Wissenschaften, 2001. Pres., Holdsworth Club, 1998–99. Hon. Fellow, American Coll. of Trial Lawyers, 2008. He has received honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the Universities of Glasgow (1995), Aberdeen (1999) and Edinburgh (2001).

Lord Rodger of Earlsferry had been the Visitor of St Hugh's College, Oxford since 2003,[8] High Steward of the University of Oxford since 2008,[9] and an Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow School of Law since July 2009.[3]

Notable judgmentsEdit

As Lord Justice General

As Justice of the Supreme Court


  1. ^ a b "Lord Rodger of Earlsferry". Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e "RODGER OF EARLSFERRY". Who's Who. Oxford University Press. December 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d "Rt Hon Lord Rodger of Earlsferry appointed an Honorary Professor". University of Glasgow. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.[dead link]
  4. ^ "No. 52911". The London Gazette. 5 May 1982. p. 7756.
  5. ^ "Lord Advocate becomes a judge". The Herald. Glasgow. 9 November 1995. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Supreme Court judge Lord Rodger of Earlsferry dies". BBC News. 26 June 2011. Archived from the original on 27 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  7. ^ Carrell, Severin (1 June 2011). "Alex Salmond provokes fury with attack on UK supreme court". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  8. ^ "St Hugh's College – Law". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  9. ^ "Oxford University Gazette: Notices: Appointment of High Steward". University of Oxford. 25 September 2008. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2009.

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
Lord Fraser of Carmyllie
Solicitor General for Scotland
Succeeded by
Lord Dawson
Preceded by
Lord Fraser of Carmyllie
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
Lord Mackay of Drumadoon
Preceded by
Lord Hope of Craighead
Lord President of the Court of Session
and Lord Justice General

Succeeded by
Lord Cullen of Whitekirk
Academic offices
Preceded by
Lord Bingham of Cornhill
High Steward of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by