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First female Supreme Court president sworn in

4th October 2017

Exterior of Supreme Court

For the first time, a woman has been sworn in as president of the UK’s Supreme Court.

Lady (Brenda) Hale, who is 72-years-old, also made history in 2004 when she became the country’s first female Law Lord.

In a recorded video broadcast, the Yorkshire-born judge welcomed a second female member to the highest court in the land, as Lady (Jill) Black of Derwent joined the influential bench. Lady Hale commented that “I hope it won’t take another 13 years before we have a third, fourth and fifth member of this court”, as reported by the Guardian.

Lady Hale has enjoyed a long career in a variety of law jobs, campaigning for gay and gender equality rights, working as Professor of Law at the University of Manchester, and recently ruling on landmark cases such as the contentious Brexit Article 50 case.  

Sir Ian Burnett: ‘The Only Way is Essex and Pizza Express’

The official appointment of Lady Hale was far from the only significant event which took place in Parliament Square on Monday 2 October, with all the other new heads of the UK judiciary also being sworn in.

Other than Lord (David) Lloyd-Jones becoming the first Welsh member of the Supreme Court, perhaps the most memorable moment of the day was when Sir Ian Burnett was elevated to the position of Lord Chief Justice at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, welcomed Sir Ian to his role in an unconventional speech which referred to the new Lord Chief Justice as “Ian from Essex”, who is known amongst colleagues for his “calmness, balance, good sense and humour”.

Sir Terence also joked that “it appears that the only club of which [Sir Ian] is or has been a member is the Pizza Express club”, also saying that “with great restraint, I have made a personal vow to say nothing about The Only Way is Essex”.

Image Credit: Shark Attacks