Lady Hale to Become UK's Most Senior Judge - The First Woman in the Role - RightsInfo

Lady Hale to Become UK’s Most Senior Judge – The First Woman in the Role

If the fact it’s almost the weekend isn’t enough good news for you, then how about news the UK is about to appoint a woman as the most senior judge in the country?

Baroness Hale, who has a history of being generally pretty amazing and groundbreaking, has officially  been announced to take on the job of President of the Supreme Court. She replaces Lord Neuberger who will be retiring.

She’ll be the first woman to hold the role – and it will also be the first time a woman has been the most senior judge in the country.

So, what’s she all about then?

Lady Hale, who is currently the Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court – the highest court in the country, has a history of being the first.

As well as today’s announcement, she was also the first woman to become a Supreme Court justice, the first woman to be appointed to The Law Commission and the first woman to appointed as a Law Lord.

The 72-year-old has been a long-standing prominent champion of diversity in the judiciary, often criticising the profession as being filled with white men from similar backgrounds.

Speaking to The Telegraph back in 2013 she blamed “and awful lot of unconscious assumptions and judgements” for the lack of female judges at the top of the profession.

“If you hardly ever see a woman, you don’t really know how to assess somebody who’s a candidate,” she adds.

“It is tiring to have to be talking about why we have so few women in the higher ranks of the judiciary in this country when most countries in the world have solved the problem. It is a bore.

“I would like us not to have to talk about it, but we do have to talk about it because the present situation is terrible.”

So, what about human rights?

Yep, in keeping with her generally great qualities, she’s also a big human rights fan.

Previously she’s spoken out about the benefits of the Human Rights Act, the piece of legislation that makes the Human Rights Convention law in the UK, as well as being a self-declared feminist and supporter of LGBT rights.

The Yorkshire-born judge advocated for same-sex marriage almost a decade before the UK introduced the change, and has been a strong supporter of same-sex parent’s rights.

Most recently she was on the panel of judges which voted to end pension discrimination for gay couples, but has also given important judgements on children’s rights, women’s rights and mental health.

Guess it’s gone down well then?

Of course! Ever since the news was hinted at the by The Times this morning social media has been buzzing with excitement from those both in and outside of the legal profession.

Oh, and if you want a little bit more good news for your weekend, there will also be some other new appointments to the Supreme Court announced at the same time, and it looks like Lady Justice Black could be among them!

Want some more good news about human rights? It is a weekend after all…

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Image Credit: Supreme Court

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About the Author

Jem Collins

Strategic Impact Director
Jem is the Strategic Impact Director for RightsInfo, working on increasing our reach across the UK and measuring our impact. Previously she was the News and Social Media Editor. She is also passionate about helping young people into the media and runs Journo Resources, a start-up which helps young people into the media, as well as serving as a trustee of the Student Publication Association. She is also one of the co-founders of The Second Source, a group to help end harassment in the media. Email Jem View all posts by Jem Collins.
Lady Hale to Become UK’s Most Senior Judge – The First Woman in the Role
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