Sir Robert Owen read Law at the University of Exeter and was called to the bar at Inner Temple in 1968 and elected an Inner Temple bencher in 1995. Following a long and illustrious career, he was appointed a Justice of the High Court on 15 January 2001, received his knighthood, and was assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division.
Sir Robert made headlines in 2015 when he chaired the public inquiry into the 2006 death of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko and retired following his completion of the inquiry. In 2016 he was appointed to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
Discussing his wide and varied career, Sir Robert focussed his lecture on his experience at the Bar and offered some sobering insights as to the fiercely competitive nature of the course. He urged that aspiring lawyers take note of the challenges and hurdles their career path will inevitably entail, as well as the huge satisfaction that awaits should they succeed.
Head of Humanities and Enterprise, Mr George Ford said: “It was a fascinating lecture. Sir Robert spoke candidly of his career, especially of his experience at the Bar where he found no two cases to have ever been the same. A substantial part of his work involved representing victims in high profile clinical negligence cases.”
“He offered some sobering insights into the realities of studying Law and spoke most movingly and in depth about his chairmanship of the Litvinenko Inquiry. Despite the many shocking details of the case and the disturbing conclusions of his report’s findings, what shone through Sir Robert’s account is that England has a judiciary that functions to the highest possible standards of thoroughness, professionalism and impartiality.”
The event was staged as part of Truro High School’s comprehensive programme for aspiring lawyers. The bespoke programme offers the school’s students, wishing to further their studies in Law, a tailored calendar of lectures, workshops, mentoring and one-to-one support to support their application to these highly competitive courses.