Leslie George Scarman, Baron Scarman OBE PC QC (29 July 1911 – 8 December 2004) was an English judge and barrister, who served as a Law Lord until his retirement in 1986.
He was born in Streatham at "Westerfield", 5 Telford Avenue but grew up on the border of Sussex and Surrey. He won scholarships to Radley College and then Brasenose College, Oxford, as a Classical Scholar, graduating in 1932 with a first.
He was appointed head of the Law Commission from 1965 to 1973, during which time 27 Commission-inspired statutes were made law.
As a judge, Scarman's career had some controversial decisions. Although widely regarded as a liberal, he upheld the blasphemy conviction of Gay News (1979), punctured the GLC's Fares Fair low-cost public transport policy (1981), and supported the banning of trade unions at GCHQ (1985).
He is best known for chairing the public inquiry on the causes of the race riots in Brixton in 1981. He also chaired inquiries into the Northern Ireland riots of August 1969 (1969–1972), the Red Lion Sq
Photos ©National Portrait Gallery