Andrew Nicol (judge)

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Andrew Nicol
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
High Court Judge
In office
Personal details
Born (1951-05-09) 9 May 1951 (age 71)
Spouse(s)Camilla Palmer
Alma materSelwyn College, Cambridge
Harvard Law School

Andrew George Lindsay Nicol (born 9 May 1951) is a retired judge of the High Court of England and Wales.

He was educated at City of London Freemen's School, Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Harvard Law School (LLM).[1] He was called to the bar at Middle Temple in 1978 and became a bencher there in 2004.[2] He was made a QC in 1995, deputy judge of the High Court from 2003 to 2009, and judge of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division) since 2009. He co-wrote Media Law with Geoffrey Robertson. Nicol was quoted as saying: "Trials derive their legitimacy from being conducted in public; the judge presides as a surrogate for the people, who are entitled to see and approve the power exercised on their behalf. Those who assist the prosecution can and should be protected by other means. No matter how fair, justice must still be seen before it can be said to be done."[3][4]

Controversial cases

David Sellu

Nicol was the judge in the trial of consultant surgeon David Sellu in November 2013. Sellu was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following the death of a patient under his care. He served 15 months imprisonment of a 30-month sentence.[5] After release, Sellu's appeal against the conviction was successful in 2016.[6] The successful ground for the appeal was that Nicol had failed to instruct the jury properly regarding the grossness element of the offence.[6][7] The jury had returned to court before reaching their verdict seeking further guidance, which was not forthcoming from Nicol.[8][better source needed]

Johnny Depp/Amber Heard

Nicol ruled against Johnny Depp in his libel suit against former wife Amber Heard by declaring that he accepted Heard's version of events. Depp was denied leave to appeal in the UK and he filed a lawsuit in Fairfax County, Virginia against Heard which began in April 2022.[9]

Personal life

Nicol is married to Camilla Palmer; they have two sons.[4]

See also


  1. ^ ‘NICOL, Hon. Sir Andrew (George Lindsay)’, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014
  2. ^ "Middle Temple Masters of the Bench - The Hon Mr Justice Andrew Nicol". The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  3. ^ Cohen, Nick. "Secret justice will lead to paranoia – and it's not very British". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  4. ^ a b Robertson, Geoffrey; Nicol, Andrew (2002). Media Law (4th ed.). Penguin Books. p. ii. ISBN 9780140247695.
  5. ^ Moorhead, Joanna (16 June 2019). "'They look for a scapegoat': a surgeon's battle to clear his name". The Observer. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  6. ^ a b Dyer, Clare (2016). "Senior surgeon's conviction for manslaughter is quashed". BMJ. 355: i6178. doi:10.1136/bmj.i6178. PMID 27852571. S2CID 206912960.
  7. ^ Darbishire, Adrian (2016). "Poor, bad and truly atrocious: Directing the jury on gross negligence manslaughter". The Justice Gap. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  8. ^ Sellu, David. "Mistake or manslaughter? - RSM Videos". Archived from the original on 5 September 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  9. ^ Johnny Depp loses bid to appeal wife-beater libel, turns to U.S. case, Accessed 28 April 2022.

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