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Judge of the Royal Court

John Russell Finch
Russell Finch was born and brought up in Southsea and educated at the Southern Grammar School for Boys, Portsmouth.

On leaving school he read Law at Queen Mary College, University of London.

On graduating he was articled to the Clerk to the Justices at Fareham and Gosport Magistrates` Courts and admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court in 1974.

He then gained wide experience in a range of duties as Principal Assistant at Aylesbury Brill and Linslade Magistrates` Courts and, from 1979, with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in London, dealing with all types of the most serious crime in England and Wales. On the creation of the Crown Prosecution Service was promoted to Senior Principal (Legal). From 1986 to 1988 he was head Prosecutor for Clerkenwell and Thames Magistrate's Courts, covering King`s Cross, Holborn, and most of the East End of London.

In 1988 he was recruited as a criminal law specialist in the Chambers of the Law Officers of the Crown in Guernsey. Following completion of the Guernsey Bar exams as well as studying at the University of Caen and securing the requisite Certificate d'Etudes Juridiques Francaises et Normandes, he was admitted as an Advocate of the Royal Court in 1993 and promoted to Crown Advocate in 1994.  

In 1997 he was appointed as the full time Magistrate, which included Coroner`s duties, and promoted as a Lieutenant Bailiff of the Royal Court in 2001.

In 2005 the Royal Court created the style of address of 'Judge of the Royal Court' in anticipation of legislation creating that office. Russell Finch was appointed as the first Judge of the Royal Court. The style was accredited statutory approbation in 2009.

Russell Finch is a keen historian and undertook an Open University course, being awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1996 and a Master of Arts at Sheffield Hallam University in 2004, specialising in modern British history.

He became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 1999.

He has for many years been a member of the Guernsey Chess team and is a former Vice-President of the English Chess Federation.

In June 2017 he was awarded an OBE in the Honours List.