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Birkett, William Norman

Birkett, William Norman (1883–1962). Lawyer. Birkett was the son of an Ulverston draper. He was educated at Barrow Grammar School and served in his father's shop in Ulverston before going to Cambridge to read theology. He was called to the bar in 1913, took silk in 1924, and was appointed a judge of the Queen's Bench Division in 1941, having briefly sat in Parliament as a Liberal. In 1946 he was one of two British judges who sat on the International War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 1950 and in 1957 he became a life peer. A great English advocate, in the tradition of Marshall Hall and Edward Carson, he was outstanding as counsel in many cases, criminal and civil. He was also an accomplished broadcaster and after-dinner speaker.

Maureen Mulholland

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