Stephen Brown (judge)

Sir Stephen Brown, GBE (born October 3, 1924) is a retired British judge. He was a Lord Justice of Appeal and the President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales.

Sir Stephen Brown

President of the Family Division
In office
Preceded bySir John Arnold
Succeeded byDame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss
Personal details
BornOctober 3, 1924 (age 94)
Patricia Ann Good (m. 1951)
Children5 (2 sons, 3 daughters)
ParentsWilfrid Brown
Nora Elizabeth Brown
ResidenceHarborne, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Alma materQueens' College, Cambridge
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service Royal Navy
Years of service1943 to 1946
UnitRoyal Navy Volunteer Reserve

Early life and education

Brown was born on 3 October 1924 to Wilfrid Brown and Nora Elizabeth Brown of Longdon Green, Staffordshire. He was educated at Malvern College[1][2] and Queens’ College, Cambridge.[3]


From 1943 to 1946 Brown served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve as a Lieutenant.

Brown became a barrister at the Inner Temple in 1949, became a bencher[4] in 1974, and became Treasurer[4] in 1994. He was Deputy Chairman of Staffordshire Quarter Sessions[4] from 1963-971, and Recorder[4] of West Bromwich from 1965-971. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1966. He was a Recorder, and Honorary Recorder of West Bromwich from 1972–75, was a High Court judge, in the Family Division,[4] from 1975–77, and in the Queen's Bench Division from 1977–83, and was Presiding Judge of the Midland and Oxford Circuit[4] from 1977-81.

Brown became a Privy Counsellor in 1983[5] and was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal (1983–88)[6] and, finally, President of the Family Division (1988–99) of the High Court of England and Wales. On 19 November 1992, he delivered the landmark ruling that doctors treating Tony Bland, who had been in a persistent vegetative state since suffering serious brain damage in the Hillsborough disaster more than three years earlier, could withdraw food and treatment keeping him alive. Treatment was ultimately withdrawn on 22 February 1993, after the House of Lords rejected an appeal by the Official Solicitor, and Mr Bland died on 3 March 1993.[7]

He was a member of the Parole Board of England and Wales from 1967 to 71, of the Butler Committee on mentally abnormal offenders[4] from 1972 to 1975, and of the Advisory Council on Penal System in 1977. He was Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors[6] from 1971-75. He was Chairman of the Council of Malvern College from 1976-94.[4]

As of 10 January 2009, he is also a member of the Advisory Committee of Children’s Rights International.[2] He has served as President of several organisations : Edgbaston High School, 1989–;[4] Malvernian Society, 1998–.[4]

Honours and decorations

Brown was knighted in 1975. Brown was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1999.

He has received an honorary fellowship and several honorary degrees:

Brown was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1999.

Personal life

In 1951, Brown married Patricia Ann Good, daughter of Richard Good from Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire. They had twin sons and three daughters. They live in Harborne, Birmingham.


  1. ^ University of West England awards Honorary Degree to Sir Steven Brown, 26.10.2000.
  2. ^ a b Children’s Rights International Advisory Committee
  3. ^ "Stephen BROWN". Debretts. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Who's Who 2008
  5. ^ Members of the British Privy Council Archived August 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c Press Office, University of the West of England Retrieved 10 January 2010
  7. ^ [1]

External links

  • Who's Who 2009
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir John Arnold
President of the Family Division
Succeeded by
Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss
List of Old Malvernians

Old Malvernians are alumni of Malvern College, an independent day and boarding school in Malvern, Worcestershire, England that was founded in 1865. Originally a school for boys aged 9 to 18, it merged in 1992 with a private boys' primary school and an independent school for girls to become coeducational for pupils aged 3 to 18.

Many alumni have gained recognition in such fields as the military, politics, business, science, culture and sport. Among the most famous are spymaster James Jesus Angleton, former head of the CIA's counter-intelligence; Aleister Crowley, the controversial but influential occultist; actor Denholm Elliott, sportsman R. E. Foster, the only man to have captained England at both cricket and football; and novelist C. S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Other well-known personalities include businessman Baron MacLaurin, a former Chairman of Tesco and Vodafone; Jeremy Paxman, journalist, author, and BBC presenter of Newsnight and University Challenge; and Baron Weatherill, the former Speaker of the British House of Commons. Old Malvernians who have become heads of state or government include the eponymously titled Viscount Malvern and Najib Tun Razak, the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia. The former was the British Commonwealth's longest serving Prime Minister by the time he left office. Old Malvernian Nobel Prize winners include Francis William Aston, winner of the 1922 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, and James Meade, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1977.

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