Lady Hale’s appointment as the first female President of the UK Supreme Court was announced on 21st July, 2017 and the sworn in ceremony will be held on 2nd October,2017.
Hale is a family law expert and had joined the Supreme Court in 2009. She became a judge before the change of retirement rules to the age of 70 years in 1995 and hence will be serving till the age of 75 years.
Succeeding Lord Neuberger, Hale is looking forward to develop upon his achievements and build closer links with each part of the UK.
Who is Brenda Hale?
Hale was born in Yorkshire in 1945. She has attended the Richmond High School for girls. She graduated at top of her class from Griton College, Cambridge, where she studied law.
Later, Hale joined the University of Manchester law faculty as a junior lecturer and alongside studied for the bar exams and worked in a pub. She scored top results in the bar finals for the year. Subsequently, she was the first woman and youngest person to be appointed to the law commission.
She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989 and in 1994 she was the first academic and public servant and not a practicing barrister to be appointed as a high court judge.
She was the second women to be appointed to the court of appeal in 1999 after Dame Elizabeth Butler- Sloss. But, Hale became the first female law lord and in 2013, she was appointed as the deputy president of the Supreme Court.
Criticisms by Hale:
Hale has criticized the bias in choosing judges and selecting a judiciary that is not only male but white as well. She was of the opinion that they are the product of limited range of education institutions and social backgrounds.
Praises by Lord Neuberger:
Lord Neuberger has worked with Lady Hale for five years. He has praised her intellect and the humanity and her approaches towards the appeals which come before her.
He believes that Hale’s commitment to the rule of law, legal education and establishing the understanding to the courts working by the public has contributed to her ground-breaking career.
According to him, she deserves to become the president as she has contributed a lot for the institution.
Appointment of other judges:
Jill Black has become the second female justice in the UK’s Highest Court after her promotion from the court of appeal. She was brought up in North Wales and studied at Durham University. She is a family law specialist. She has taught at the Leeds Polytechnic in the 1980’s. She was on the panel of appeal court where a freedom of information request had been made to view a former minister’s diaries. The decision was against the government.
Lloyd Jones is also appointed to the highest court alongside Jill Black. He was brought up in Pontypridd, South Wales. He has offered his legal advice in the matter where the sovereign immunity of the former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, was in question.
Michael Briggs is also appointed alongside Black and Jones. He grew up in a naval family and followed his father on the south coast. During his stint at the high court, he looked over the matter of Lehman Brothers insolvency litigation from 2009-2013.