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Richard Wilberforce, Baron Wilberforce

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Title: Richard Wilberforce, Baron Wilberforce  
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Language: English
Subject: Wilberforce, Wilberforce family, Howard Smith Ltd v Ampol Petroleum Ltd, People associated with the University of Hull, Anns v Merton LBC
Collection: 1907 Births, 2003 Deaths, Alumni of New College, Oxford, Conservative Party (Uk) Life Peers, Conservative Party (Uk) Politicians, English Judges, Fellows of All Souls College, Oxford, High Court Judges (England and Wales), Law Lords, Members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, People Associated with the University of Hull, People Educated at Norwich School (Independent School), People Educated at Winchester College, Senior Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, Wilberforce Family
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Richard Wilberforce, Baron Wilberforce

The Right Honourable
The Lord Wilberforce
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
Personal details
Born 11 March 1907
Died 15 February 2003 (aged 96)
Nationality English
Alma mater New College, Oxford
Profession Barrister, Judge

Richard Orme Wilberforce, Baron Wilberforce, QC, PC (11 March 1907 – 15 February 2003), was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in the House of Lords from 1964 to 1982.


  • Life 1
  • Famous judgments 2
  • Publications 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Richard Wilberforce was a great-great-grandson of the famous abolitionist William Wilberforce, and son of Samuel, a judge of the Lahore High Court, India.[1] He grew up in India and attended Norwich School, Sandroyd School, Winchester College and New College, Oxford, and was later elected a Fellow of All Souls College.[1] He was called to the Bar in 1932 and became a Queen's Counsel in 1954.

He was first appointed to the bench in 1961 as a Chancery judge. Then in 1964 he was appointed to the House of Lords as a Lord Appeal in Ordinary, made a life peer as Baron Wilberforce, of the City and County of Kingston-upon-Hull. He is the only England and Wales judge in recent times to have been appointed to the House of Lords straight from the High Court Bench, without serving in the Court of Appeal. His decisions were known for being reserved and cautious.

Wilberforce was Chancellor of the University of Hull between 1978 and 1994.

Famous judgments

Lord Wilberforce gave many important and prescient judgments, including his judgments in the following cases:


  • with Alan Campbell and Neil Elles, The Law of Restrictive Practices and Monopolies (2nd edn London, Sweet and Maxwell 1966) LCCN 66-70116
  • Law and economics: Being the presidential address of the Rt. Hon. Lord Wilberforce (Holdsworth Club 1966)


  1. ^ Samuel was himself a grandson of Samuel Wilberforce through his second son Reginald.


  1. ^ Richard Orme Wilberforce (2003). Reflections on My Life. Roundtuit Publishing. pp. 10–22.  

External links

  • obituaryThe Guardian
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