Appointment of High Court Judges In Northern Ireland

02 November 2020 - 10.00 am

Her Majesty the Queen has appointed Mr David Scoffield Q.C. and His Honour Judge David McFarland to the office of High Court Judge in Northern Ireland. The judges were sworn into office before The Right Honourable Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, on 2 November 2020.

You can find out more about the new appointees by reading their profiles below.

Mr David Scoffield QC

Mr David Scoffield QC completed his law degree at University College, Oxford, where he was awarded a distinction in Law Moderations and went on to obtain a First Class Honours BA in Jurisprudence in August 1998, which was later converted to an MA. Mr Scoffield QC then went on to complete his Certificate in Professional Legal Studies and graduated with a distinction in June 1999. He was also awarded the Sir Eoin Higgins Prize for the Top Bar Student and the Williamson Trust Fund Prize for the Highest Achiever in the Exit Examination. Mr Scoffield QC obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Discrimination Law from Queens University, Belfast in 2003.

Mr Scoffield QC was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in September 1999 and the Bar of Ireland in July 2014. He was appointed to Silk in 2011, at the age of 34.

Until his appointment as a High Court Judge, Mr Scoffield QC was in independent practice, specialising in public, administrative and constitutional law, in which areas he has regularly appeared in cases in the United Kingdom Supreme Court.

Mr Scoffield QC is also a Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland and, in January 2020, was appointed a Temporary Judge of the High Court of Northern Ireland.

His Honour Judge David McFarland
His Honour Judge McFarland was admitted as a Solicitor in July 1979 and commenced practice in Belfast.
His Honour Judge McFarland was appointed as a Deputy County Court Judge in 1993 and a County Court Judge in 1998. He was assigned to the Division of Fermanagh and Tyrone in 2004.
In 2012 His Honour Judge McFarland was appointed as the Recorder of Belfast, Presiding County Court Judge. In this role he was responsible for all County Court business and County Court Judges sitting in the Crown Court.
Prior to his appointment as a County Court Judge, His Honour Judge McFarland held a number of fee paid judicial offices including: Chairman of Social Security Appeal Tribunals (from September 1988); Chairman of Child Support Appeal Tribunals (from February 1993) and Chairman of Disability Appeal Tribunals (from April 1994).