Baroness Hale is set to be appointed the first female president of The Supreme Court. Her appointment will take place in October, when the current president Lord Neuberger retires.
Lady Hale was appointed as a High Court judge in 1994, assigned to the Family Division. In 1999 she was the second woman to be promoted to the Court of Appeal, before becoming the first woman Law Lord in 2004. In October 2009 she became the first woman Justice of The Supreme Court, and was appointed Deputy President of The Supreme Court in 2013.
In 1984 she was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law. Important family legislation resulting from the work of her team at the Commission includes the Children Act 1989 and the Family Law Act 1996.
News of her appointment as president of The Supreme Court has been widely welcomed by lawyers and academics.
In addition, Lady Justice Black is one of three new Supreme Court justices to be appointed, and will be only the second female Supreme Court justice. Like Lady Hale, Lady Justice Black has a family law background. In 1999 she was appointed as a High Court judge, also assigned to the Family Division. She was appointed a Lady Justice of Appeal (i.e. a Court of Appeal judge) in 2010. She is the Head of International Family Justice.
Commenting upon her appointment Lady Hale said: “It is a great honour and a challenge to be appointed to succeed Lord Neuberger. I look forward to building upon his pioneering achievements, including developing closer links with each part of the United Kingdom, for example by sitting outside London, and improving the ways in which we communicate our work to the public. Recent high-profile cases mean that more people than ever before have heard of the Supreme Court, and we hope that this will help to create a broader understanding of how the judiciary serves society. While I of course look forward to working alongside all my colleagues, it is a particular pleasure for me to be taking up the post at the same time as we welcome only the second ever woman to sit on the UK’s top appeal court.”
Family Law Cafe congratulates both Lady Hale and Lady Justice Black, and wishes them well in their new appointments.