Baroness Hale badged ‘affable member’ of Inn ‘staff’ by newspaper

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Picture caption gaff

A newspaper covering King Charles’ visit to Gray’s Inn this week has inadvertently mistaken former Supreme Court President Baroness Hale for an “affable member of staff”.

Baroness Hale, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2020, is one of the UK’s most high-profile former judges and has become something of a cult figure amongst lawyers and law students.

The Beyoncé of the legal profession is known for her much studied judgments in Stack v Dowden and Miller II, where she wore a spider brooch when delivering the latter September 2019 ruling that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament was unlawful.

Lady Hale delivering the landmark Supreme Court judgment Miller II

The former legal Supreme is photographed alongside High Court Master Eastman sharing a laugh with King Charles on his visit to Gray’s Inn where Hale was first called to the bar back in 1969. The image was captioned by the Daily Mail “an affable member of staff shared an earthy laugh with the King during a reception at Gray’s Inn”.

The blunder was first spotted by Joel Semakula, a barrister at Landmark Chambers, who himself fell victim to the newspaper’s caption gaffs. The paper described as one of the “eager young fans” studying at the new City junior school.

At least one commenter suggested the caption could refer to barrister and bench master Roger Eastman, who can been seen standing alongside Hale. Either way, “staff” seriously underplays both their positions within the profession.

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“Affable” is one of those words which are sex-based. Women are never affable. Only men. Definitely Eastman being referred to. Baroness Hale being ignored!!



Wrong headline, caption was clearly aimed at Eastman.



I’ll make it all better!


Proud and Honoured

Prime example of the modern desire to misinterpret anything so that you can be personally offended.



I am sure that Lady Hale would have found it amusing.


Crooning up at the RCJ

I looked up the pic in the online newspaper report. The caption so obviously refers to Master Eastman that this story is null. But a headline of “Roger Eastman badged ‘affable member’ of Inn ‘staff’ by newspaper“ wouldn’t have been very click-baity, would it?

And otherwise how would LC have got the tiresome ‘Beyoncé of the legal profession’ in? Maybe LC could start calling Master Eastman ‘the Ed Sheeran of the legal profession’.

Master Eastman is a great judge BTW. A visit to the Bear Pit is in front of him is always a treat.


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