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Gerald Norman Butler, QC (born 15 September 1930, Hackney, London, died 28 February 2010) was an English judge, who was the senior judge at Southwark Crown Court.



Butler was the son of Joshua Butler and Esther, née Lampel. In 1959, he married Stella, daughter of Harris and Leah Isaacs; they had a son and two daughters. His son died in 2008.


Ilford County High School, London School of Economics (LLB 1952), Magdalen College, Oxford (BCL 1954).


Butler was called to the bar in the Middle Temple, 1955. His career was interrupted by National Service; he was a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps, 1956-57. He became a QC in 1975. He was a Recorder of the Crown Court, 1977-82, a Circuit Judge, 1982-97, and senior judge at Southwark Crown Court, 1984-97.

After his retirement, he was invited to conduct inquiries and produce reports into:

  • the English Rugby Football Union, 1997
  • Central Casework at the Crown Prosecution Service, 1999
  • prosecution of Regina v Doran and others, 2000
  • Treasury Counsel instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service, 2000
  • the 1981 New Cross fire that killed 13 black youngsters, 2004


In August 2005, he made controversial remarks that human rights laws stood in the way of attempts to crack down on terrorists, because after the terrorist attacks on London in July, Britain was no longer in a "normal" state where human rights legislation was always beneficial.

Sporting Activities

He was a member of the MCC.

See also




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