Roger Chapple was called to the Bar in 1974 and remained in a general common law practice from chambers at Francis Taylor Building for 19 years until his appointment as Assistant Judge Advocate General of Her Majesty’s Forces in 1994. He was, in that capacity, resident in Germany for 8 years, from 1997 to 2004, when he returned to the United Kingdom to take up an appointment to the Circuit Bench. He was appointed Resident Judge at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court from 2005 until its closure to make way for the new Supreme Court in 2007. Thereafter he sat at the Central Criminal Court until his appointment as a Senior Circuit Judge and Resident Judge at Inner London Crown Court at the end of 2007, where he remained until 2016 when he decided, after 22 years on the Bench, to take early retirement to pursue other interests. He was also, from 2007 to 2016, a Senior Judge of the Sovereign Base Areas Superior Court, Cyprus.
Since retirement, Roger Chapple continues to sit in the Crown Court as a Deputy Circuit Judge, as a judicial member of the Mental Health Tribunal, and a member of the Parole Board. In April 2017, he was appointed an acting judge of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.
Additional roles and responsibilities:
- Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn
- Member, Inns of Court Disciplinary Panel
- Advocacy Trainer, Gray’s Inn
- Patron, Southwark Young Pilgrims
- Trustee, National Justice Museum
- Resident in Germany 1997 – 2004 based in the German office of the Judge Advocate General.
- From 1998 increasingly traveling to other countries both on advisory visits and to represent the United Kingdom at international conferences, usually sponsored by the Ministry of Defence `Outreach’ programme. Countries visited include: Bosnia, Denmark, Hungary, Turkey, Serbia and Montenegro
- February 2002 – visit to Bolivia to advise on riot control and peace-keeping
- 2000 – 2005 -visits to Brazil lecturing on the impact of international law on national laws and assisting in the reform of the constitution (for which work, he was awarded the Brazilian Order of Merit)
- 2004 – organised a conference in Germany and delivered presentations to 50 delegates from the then newly emerging Eastern European democracies on the rule of law.
- November 2010 – visit to Jamaica to chair a series of seminars with the Jamaican judiciary, to address the problem of prison overcrowding by encouraging the judiciary towards community based alternatives to custody and shorter sentences of imprisonment
- November 2015 – visit to Nassau, Bahamas (with Dame Linda Dobbs) to advise on case management and reduction of backlog
- November 2016 – visit to Beijing and Nanjing to advise on reform of Chinese criminal justice system
- March/April 2018 visit to Kunming and Xiamen to give presentations on the British Criminal Justice system and further advise on reform
- May 2018 – visit to Sierra-Leone for judicial training in the implementation of anti-corruption legislation
- 2017 and continuing – regular visits to the Cayman Islands, both to sit in the Grand Court and, in 2019, to deliver training to the judiciary.