Robert Alderson Wright, Baron Wright, GCMG, PC, FBA (15 October 1869 – 27 June 1964) was a British judge.

Early life and career

Born in South Shields, Wright was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a First and later held a prize fellowship. He was called to the bar in 1900 by the Inner Temple and practiced at the commercial bar, having joined the chambers of Thomas Edward Scrutton. He also lectured on industrial law at the London School of Economics. He took silk in 1917.

At the 1923 General election, he stood as the Liberal candidate in the Darlington constituency. The Liberals, who had not contested the seat at the previous election, were not expected to win and he came last. He did not stand for Parliament again.[1]

Judicial career

In 1925, Wright was appointed to the High Court (King's Bench Division) as a judge, receiving the customary knighthood. On 11 April 1932, he was appointed Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and was created additionally a life peer with the title Baron Wright, of Durley in the County of Wiltshire. His translation from the High Court directly to the House of Lords was unusual, and was masterminded by the Lord Chancellor, the Viscount Sankey. However, he resigned as Lord of Appeal in 1935. becoming instead Master of the Rolls, a post he held until 1937, when he was made Lord of Appeal in Ordinary again. He retired in 1947, and was appointed GCMG in 1948.

In 1945 he was the Chairman of the United Nations War Crimes Commission.[2]


As a trial judge

  • Rex v Wallace [1931] 23 Cr App R 32, A famous murder case, the verdict being overturned on appeal.
  • R v Kylsant & Otrs, known as the Royal Mail Case.

As an appellate judge


  1. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1918-1949
  2. ^ https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/law-reports-trials-war-criminals.html
  • N Duxbury, 'Lord Wright and Innovative Traditionalism' (2009) 59 University of Toronto Law Journal 265-340.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Ernest Pollock
Master of the Rolls
Succeeded by
Sir Wilfred Greene