21 July 2017Print This Post

Hale to become first woman president of Supreme Court as Singh is first Sikh named to Court of Appeal

Hale: particular pleasure to welcome second woman to Supreme Court

Baroness Hale of Richmond was named today as the third president of the Supreme Court – and first female head of the country’s highest court – along with three new justices, including only the second woman to join it.

In addition, seven new members of the Court of Appeal have been appointed, including the first Sikh ever to join the court.

Baroness Hale, currently vice-president of the Supreme Court, will be sworn in on 2 October to succeed Lord Neuberger, along with new justices Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Lord Justice Briggs.

Lady Hale, a legal academic turned barrister, became the first female Law Lord in 2004, and has been deputy president for four years.

She 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.

“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.”

Lady Justice Black, a family lawyer in practice, was appointed to the High Court in 1999 and the Court of Appeal in 2010.

Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, whose practice at the Bar included international, EU and public law, was appointed to the High Court in 2005. A Welsh speaker, from 2008 to 2011 he served as a Presiding Judge on the Wales Circuit.

In 2012 he was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and from 2012 to 2015 was chairman of the Law Commission.

Lord Justice Briggs practised in commercial and chancery work was appointed to the High Court in 2006, where he was in charge of the Lehman insolvency litigation.

He joined the Court of Appeal in 2013, and having run both the chancery modernisation review, and the civil courts structure review, he is currently leading the implementation of the latter’s recommendations, alongside serving as the civil justice partnership lead for the HMCTS Reform Programme. In January 2016 he was appointed deputy head of civil justice.

All seven new Court of Appeal judges are barristers and only one, Mrs Justice Asplin, is a woman. The others are Mr Justice Coulson, Mr Justice Holroyde, Mr Justice Peter Jackson, Mr Justice Leggatt, Mr Justice Newey and Mr Justice Singh, who was the first Sikh High Court judge as well when appointed in 2011.

By Neil Rose


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