Baroness Hale to become first female president of Supreme Court

Baroness Hale of Richmond, who is expected to become the first female president of the Supreme Court. Picture; PA
Baroness Hale of Richmond, who is expected to become the first female president of the Supreme Court. Picture; PA
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Lady Hale is to become the first female president of the UK’s highest court.

Baroness Hale of Richmond, 72, is currently deputy president of the Supreme Court.

It is understood that her new role will be confirmed in an announcement from Downing Street on Friday.

Lady Hale became the first woman justice of the Supreme Court in October 2009, and was appointed deputy president in June 2013.

At the time she described her appointment as an “honour and a privilege”.

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Yorkshire-born Lady Hale, who has campaigned for greater diversity in the judiciary, has had a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer and judge.

After graduating from Cambridge, she taught law at Manchester University from 1966 to 1984, also qualifying as a barrister and practising for a while at the Manchester Bar.

She specialised in family and social welfare law, was founding editor of the Journal Of Social Welfare And Family Law, and authored a pioneering case book on The Family, Law And Society.

In 1984 she was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law.

She became a High Court judge in 1994, the first to have made her career as an academic and public servant rather than a practising barrister.

In 1999 she was the second woman to be promoted to the Court of Appeal, before becoming the first woman Law Lord.

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During her time as deputy president of the Supreme Court she has ruled on numerous headline-hitting cases, including the Brexit appeal.

Most recently she was on the panel of justices who ruled in favour of John Walker, the gay ex-cavalry officer who won a landmark pensions ruling to secure his husband the same rights as a wife.