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It’s official: We now have our first ever female Supreme Court president

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Lady Hale hopes to see more female justices in the coming years

Lady Hale is now, officially, the first ever female president of the Supreme Court. In her words, it’s a “historic day for the court”.

Deputy president Lord Mance, who alongside Hale was sworn in at a charming courtroom one ceremony today, noted: “Hale’s swearing in ceremony is a first in many ways.”

“She becomes our first female president, indeed, the first female to head the UK’s highest court in any of its manifestations,” Mance said. He then described his new boss as a “tireless promoter of women and other underrepresented groups in the judiciary”.

Both Hale and Mance took their judicial oath, which is etched on the glass doors of the Westminster court, before being handed a letters patent (picture embedded below). There was laughter in the courtroom as Hale, who can’t be much more than 5ft, struggled under the weight of her letters patent, and almost dropped it.

Tomorrow (Monday 2 October) at 10am a special ceremony will be held at the UK Supreme Court, swearing-in the new President (Lady Hale), Deputy President (Lord Mance) and three new Justices (Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones and Lord Briggs). During the swearing-in ceremony each justice will be formally handed a grand ‘letters patent’. The letters patent, which are in these red boxes, are ornate handwritten scrolls issued under royal prerogative. They give the holder the authority to conduct the function or office in the name of the Sovereign, in this case to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court. This image shows the boxes, ready for tomorrow (complete with post-it label tags)! • #behindthescenes #newlegalyear #swearinginceremony #swearingin #judges #justices #law #supremecourt #uksupremecourt

A post shared by UK Supreme Court (@uksupremecourt) on

The ceremony — which was attended by the likes of the head of the Judicial Appointments Commission Lord Kakkar, Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC and the justices’ family and friends — then turned to the court’s newbies.

The new Supreme Court justices (L-R: Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Black and Lord Briggs) facing their new colleagues

It was the president’s job to introduce the trio of new judges, beginning with Lady Black. Hale said it was a “particular pleasure” to welcome at long last another woman to the Supreme Court. She said she hopes it will not be another 13 years before we welcome a third, a fourth and a fifth.

Lady Black, formally robed, and being welcomed to the bench by a grinning Lady Hale

We also learned Black and Hale have more in common than their gender. The pair are both from Yorkshire, and have had successful pre-judiciary careers in family law. Moreover, Black has written a book called ‘Working Mothers Survival Guide’, which claims to “help the reader cope with guilt, provides suggestions on how to organise childcare arrangements and how to keep housework under control.”

The last two judges to be sworn in were Lord Lloyd-Jones and Lord Briggs, the former of whom made Supreme Court history today when he took his oath in both English and Welsh.

One of the more interesting elements of what at times was quite a repetitive ceremony was this: you found out what all the justices’ middle names are! Hale’s is Marjorie, Mance’s is Hugh, while Black’s is Margaret. While Lloyd-Jones doesn’t have a middle name, Briggs makes up for this with his: Townley Featherstone.

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14 Comments

JDA

Anent Lord Lloyd-Jones, ‘former’, not ‘latter’!

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Katie King

Thank you

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Anonymous

Criminal cases are brought in the name of the queen, and judged under the royal prerogative. It is the queen that we must ask to police the middle class , therefore, for a change 🙂

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James

“Baron” is a title, not one of Lord Mance’s middle names!

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JDA

One tends to despair as to simple matters of accuracy…….

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Anonymous

Unbelievable really

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Anonymous

Pompous comment. Is that the royal “One…”?

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Thug

I thought we’re all equal and gender has no bearing on ability, furthermore, considering that nearly half of all NQ lawyers are female I feel compelled to ask why is this newsworthy? It’s one thing if the new Supreme Court president was a lower middle class minority from a poly as bigotry and snobbishness impose considerable barriers for people from such a background in the legal sector, but a privileged middle class white person being promoted to a prestigious role is not newsworthy. Her being female does not make her appointment newsworthy. If anything her appointment was expected given the judiciary is mostly staffed by cucks who are slavishly acquiescent to the demands divisive fanatacal feminists.

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Anonymous

Half of NQ’s are female, but how many stay on? And how many make it to the ranks of partner/QC/senior judge?

What we are seeing is the product of a time when it was very unequal. It will take time to catch up unless you want to promote a lot of people who aren’t experienced enough yet in the names of “equality.”

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Thug

Ok perhaps in the past this would have been news. But the intellectual, and the moral merits of the argument for gender equality if widely accepted now. This is why this is not newsworthy. As for female NQ retention is concerned it is impossible to answer this question without doing longitudinal studies covering generational changes into the amount of women applying to study and practice law in addition to statistical difference of female applicants being hired relative to male applicants. The total size male and female applicants and the level educational achievement within each gender sample would be the main measures of statistical significance. As I am concerned who cares if she is a women. judicial capability is a far more salient matter more specifically the ability devise judicial and interpretative processes to free of prejudice, and bias. However, Ms Hale’s and the rest of the judiciaries silence in response the shocking findings of the Lammy Review make me doubtful of the supreme court’s commitment to the agenda of genuine equality within law for all not just white middle class females.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Will take a long time to even up. Women have a body that allows them to produce children. Equal paternity rights is not enough to change things completely. Lots of women still see it as more their right to have time off to see their child. Men need to work more because society deems them the one that picks up the bill at restaurants and bars. Women tend to lack the brain power to excel at the very top level. Et al.

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Anonymous

Agree – it’s not newsworthy. So it fits the criteria for Legal Cheek content perfectly.

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Anonymous

If two of the judges practiced family law then the middle class should note that those barristers and civil servants involved in their recruitment and promotion over the years just created Supreme Court judges with the bestowed money and responsibility. With a few tweaks to the process, their experiences and status could have brought forth latter day Friedrich Engels s. This would have been for the greater good of society in my opinion.

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Anonymous

Everyone knows that the Law is an Ass, which makes lawyers A**holes, judges are just bigger ones.

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