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Lord Carlile of
Berriew C.B.E., Q.C

Distinguished Fellow

Lord Carlile was appointed a Distinguished Fellow at RUSI in November 2018. 

Born into a medical family in Wales and was brought up in Wales and then Burnley, Alex Carlile was educated at Epsom College and graduated LLB AKC at King’s College London. 

He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn (where he is now a Bencher) in 1970 and became a Q.C. in 1984. He is a Fellow of King’s College London, a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust, and an Honorary Companion of the Security Institute. He holds Honorary Doctorates of Laws from universities in Manchester, Wales and Budapest, Hungary.

From 1983-1997 he was the Liberal/Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire. During that time he served as spokesperson on a range of issues, including Home Affairs and the Law. He was the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats from 1992-7. He was appointed a Life Peer in 1999 and was awarded the CBE in 2012 for services to national security.

He takes the Liberal Democrat whip in the House of Lords. His work there is focused on issues including Mental Health, Youth Justice and the criminal justice system.

Lord Carlile was a leading proponent in the House of Commons of the War Crimes Act, and a founding officer of the All-Party War Crimes Group. He has served on several Select Committees and Standing Committees of the House of Commons, and chaired the Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament on mental health legislation.

Between 2001-2011, he was the UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation and also from 2010-11 he was Independent Reviewer of the Government’s new PREVENT policy. 

He sat until 2014 as a Deputy High Court Judge, dealing mostly with Judicial Review cases, and as a Recorder of the Crown Court. For several years he was the Honorary Recorder of the City of Hereford. From 2004-2012, he was a Chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Until February 2016 he was the independent reviewer of National Security policy in Northern Ireland.

He is the Chair of the Lloyds Enforcement Board, which supervises disciplinary issues for Lloyds of London. He was the Chair of the London Policing Ethics Panel 2012-15 and in 2015 he was appointed a Freedom of Information Commissioner by the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

He retains a strong interest in Counter Terrorism policy, Home Affairs and the Law, Police, Penal Affairs, Wales, and the visual arts