Brian Barker is a former senior judge at the Old Bailey and the Recorder of London. Following his mandatory retirement from the full-time bench in 2015, he has been appointed to a number of public part-time positions and conducted a variety of Inquiries.
Currently, he is the Chairman of the Judicial Panel of the British Horseracing Authority which hears all discipline and regulatory matters arising from the horseracing industry in the UK.
He is the Independent Reviewer of National Security in Northern Ireland under the Peace Process, and Chairman of the Committee overseeing close protection for judges and other senior figures. He also is the Commissioner in a team reviewing the use of covert surveillance by police forces and public authorities.
Judge Barker was appointed to the Bench in 2000 assigned to the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) London trying predominantly serious criminal trials with a jury. He was a course director for the Judicial Studies Board for England and Wales for four years in addition.
He was appointed the deputy senior judge (The Common Serjeant of London) for seven years before becoming the senior judge (The Recorder of London – a post going back to 1294) with the additional responsibility of delivering justice in 18 courts. This post also involved ceremonial and advisory duties in the City of London with the City Council and the Lord Mayor of London. Judge Barker sat annually as an additional judge as part of a three-person bench in the Criminal Divisions of the national Court of Appeal in London.
Judge Barker was called to the bar by Gray’s Inn and practiced as a barrister in London and the south of England beginning in 1970, both defending and prosecuting in criminal jury trials. His practice also included some public and administrative law and he had an additional interest in cases with a mental health element.
Jude Barker was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990. This involved handling cases involving increasing amounts of fraud. Cases included attempting to defend the President of Zambia’s son in Lusaka, Zambia, prosecutions for the Serious Fraud Office, and representing the Crown Prosecution Service in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. From 1998 to 2000, Judge Barker was the Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association of England and Wales.
Outside of law, Judge Barker is a trustee and involved in the work of three charities assisting young people. He is married to the Rt. Hon Lady Justice Rafferty and they have with three adult daughters. His recreation during the weekend includes running a small farm and raising sheep. His interest includes current affairs, occasional golf, and regular running.