Husband and wife team sit on Supreme Court bench

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Hale hails ‘historic’ occasion for Lady Arden and Lord Mance

📸 Lady Arden and Lord Mance

A husband and wife sat together on the Supreme Court bench yesterday in a first for the UK’s highest court. Lady Arden and her husband Lord Mance appeared side by side as Mance gave judgment in a miscarriage of justice compensation appeal.

Speaking beforehand, Supreme Court President Lady Hale said:

“This is a historic day for this court. Last year we were delighted to welcome Lady Arden as a justice of the court. Today her husband, Lord Mance, is about to deliver the judgment in the cases of Hallam and Nealon. This is the first time in this court that we have had a husband and wife team sitting on the bench.”

Arden (72) and Mance (75) have been married for over 45 years. The couple tied the knot in Liverpool in 1973.

📸 Lady Arden and Lord Mance alognside Lady Hale

Hale went on to joke that the court’s “normal practice is that husbands and wives should not sit on the same case” — prompting chuckles from her fellow justices.

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Fellow Supreme Court justice Lady Black is married to Court of Appeal judge Richard McCombe, so in theory that could become an issue if he were promoted in the next couple of years.

The case concerned two men whose criminal convictions were overturned after they had spent many years in prison. Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon were refused miscarriage of justice compensation and tried to argue that the recently toughened rules breached European human rights law. They lost by five votes to two.

Arden and Mance didn’t actually decide the Hallam or Nealon or any other cases together, as their time as serving justices did not overlap. Mance was back in the Middlesex Guildhall for one night only to deliver the judgment, having been part of the panel that heard the case just before his retirement last summer — so the happy couple took the opportunity to make history by sitting on the bench together.

Arden’s addition meant that the Supreme Court had its first ever female majority on a case in October last year.

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The “normal practice” Lady Hale refers to is surely a bit out of date! I suppose Lady Arden and Lord Mance is the only example in practice, so it’s more of a theoretical issue.



Out of date how? Parties in intimate relationships sitting together as judges of any kind, whatever their gender or sexuality, is a huge potential conflict of interest and/or appearance of bias.

How on earth would it look to a defendant if you lost your liberty or property on a 3:2 UKSC decision where the majority was Arden with Mance concurring without reasons? I’m not saying that either would agree merely because they are married, I trust them not to. What I’m saying is that the public perception could easily become that and that undermines the integrity of the justice system.



Your head





Rule Britannia

Disgusting this is why we need a NO DEAL Brexit and stop all the nepotism and the so called elites telling us what’s right and what’s the law and handing down EU MADE LAW why aren’t their any plumbers and brickies on the court we need REAL PEOPLE to decide cases



No deal

No deal

No deal

It’s gonna be biblical




Its the Irish that’ll be feeling sorry for us mate, if but one person dies because they miss a month’s chemo due to a no deal Brexit.

I’d get rid of the misplaced sense of superiority if I were you.


Sage Denning

not sure how Brexit is going to stop chemo; genuinely, have not found the link. Either way, as long as we will let Pharma in, they will come, they are not not going to stop making money by not sending it.

I could make the above clearer, but where’s the sense of mystery without it.



When Legal Cheek is the DM of the legal world! Tell us more! How many kids do they have, how much does their house cost, where are they spending their holidays…


Steven Seagull

It seems to me to be improper for them to sit on the bench in the same hearing.



They did not sit together in the same hearing. They sat together in the same panel which handed out judgments to different cases. Lord Mance and Lord Sumption, both of whom retired last year, were at the Supreme Court to give out their judgments, and I presume, Lady Hale thought it would be nice to have their successors, Lady Arden and Lord Sales respectively, also in the panel even though neither of them sat in the cases or was there to hand out judgment in a different case.



Are Lord Mance and lord sumption also a couple?
I thought not, so what’s your reasoning again?!




Lady Arden succeeded Lord Mance and Lord Sales succeeded Lord Sumption. Yesterday, only Mance and Sumption gave out judgments. Arden and Sales sat in neither of the two cases, didn’t give any judgments to other cases, but they were there anyway.

My reasoning, therefore, is this: Maybe Lady Hale as President wanted both Arden and Sales there since they succeeded the retired judges (Mance and Sumption) who were handing down the judgments, or maybe there’s an official rule that every time a judgment is handed down three sitting judges, at least, must be present. Maybe the former is true or maybe the latter. Personally, I don’t think the selection of Arden and Sales was totally random on this occasion.



“I disagree with the Lady’s reasoning”
“You always disagree with my reasoning, you old bastard”



Such a joke Lady Arden is on the supreme court after that disgrace of a decision in pennington v waine



Hi Harold



Good to see the supreme court selecting from the widest possible range of candidates.

And what an appalling decision.



Tell them! They should have totally selected Chantelle with a 2:2 from Monsters University who is currently working as a paralegal in her uncle’s firm instead of Lady Arden. The morons!



They already know!

Your friend Chantelle would make wiser decisions in many cases.


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