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Michael Kerr (judge)

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Name  Michael Kerr

Sir Michael Robert Emanuel Kerr, PC (1 March 1921 – 14 April 2002) was a British jurist, lawyer and author. He was the son of German drama critic Alfred Kerr and brother of author Judith Kerr.

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Born in Charlottenburg, Germany, Kerr and his family were forced to leave their homeland at the end of the Weimar Republic by the emergence of the Nazi Party. After 1933, the Kerr family lived in Switzerland, France and finally Great Britain, as noted in his sister's writing. His experience as an immigrant allowed him to perfect skills in not only German but also in French and English. Sponsored by a friend of his father, Kerr was educated at Aldenham School. This and his immigration experience may have created a wish to emulate and join the upper middle class of his new homeland.

Kerr was beginning his studies at Clare College, Cambridge when Second World War began. During the war, Kerr was at first identified as an enemy alien and interned at temporary camps around the country before being sent to the Central Promenade Camp in Douglas, Isle of Man. He was released on the intervention of the Home Secretary and he later served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force, reaching the rank of flight lieutenant. After the war, he returned to Cambridge to study law and became a naturalised British subject in 1946. His career eventually led him to the High Court, where he believed that he was the first senior judge born an alien since the 12th century. Kerr chaired the Law Commission from 1978–81, before serving on the Court of Appeal, and finally on the London Court of International Arbitration.

Kerr married Julia Braddock in 1953 and had three children, Candy, Jo and Tim born in 1954, 1956 and 1958. The couple separated in 1977 but Julia did not agree to the divorce so Kerr had to wait the statutory five years.

Kerr married Diana Sneezum on 29 January 1983 and had two children, Lucy who was born in 1984 and Alexander in 1987. They remained happily married until Kerr's death in 2002.

In his autobiography As Far As I Remember he tells of his family, also reflected in books by his sister such as When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, and about his career in the British law system. His short, analytic writing is reminiscent of his father's style.

Publication

  • As Far As I Remember. Hart Publishing, Oxford and Portland/Oregon 2002, ISBN 1-901362-87-6
  • References

    Michael Kerr (judge) Wikipedia


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