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Lady Hale


Lady Hale of Richmond was born on 31 January 1945 in Yorkshire, England. She read law at Girton College, University of Cambridge, where she was one of six women on the course. After graduating with the only starred First in her student cohort, she began lecturing at Manchester University, and also qualified as a barrister. Driven by social welfare issues, Lady Hale wrote numerous path-breaking publications on mental health law, family law, and gender and the law, including her renowned Women and the Law, co-authored with Susan Atkins (1984). In 1984, she was the first woman and the youngest person to be appointed to the Law Commission, and was central to a number of revolutionary changes to the law on mental health, divorce, and the care of children. Ten years later, Lady Hale became the first academic lawyer appointed as a judge in the Family Division of the High Court, just five years after she took silk. In 1999, she was the second woman judge to be promoted to the Court of Appeal, and in 2004 Lady Hale became the first and only woman in the UK’s highest appeal court, the House of Lords, now the Supreme Court. In addition, she is the only Supreme Court Justice to specialise in family law, have a background in academia, and to regularly speak with passion about judicial diversity, equality and human rights. In short, she is a unique and valuable member of the Court. A true pioneer in the legal profession, Lady Hale continues her active involvement in promoting judicial diversity, and has presided over the International Association of Women Judges and, currently, the UK Association of Women Judges. Maintaining her connections with academia, she is the Chancellor of the University of Bristol, and holds numerous Professorships across the best English Universities.

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