I was delighted to attend the annual Judges Service which was held at Westminster Abbey on 1st October 2020, in my capacity as Her Majesty’s Solicitor-General.
The Legal Year is the calendar during which the judges sit in court and this was my second Legal Year Opening attendance as a Law Officer of the Crown.
This service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, where we renewed our commitment to the service of the Crown and of all the people in the cause of justice. This was Dr Hoyle’s first Legal Year opening, having replaced the previous Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall, in November of last year.
The service in Westminster Abbey dates back to 1897 and since then the Legal Opening itself has only not taken place during World War Two.
The service this year was smaller and reduced as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. Ordinarily, Westminster Abbey is filled with hundreds of attendees, from senior judges and judicial officers, to Law Officers and QCs (Queen’s Counsel). This year, there were far fewer attendees, but the very senior judges still attended, including the Lord Chief Justice of England, who read a Lesson. The Choir also sang. That evening I also attended Temple Church, off Fleet Street, where there was a livestreamed choral evensong.