The Right Honourable, Baroness Hale of Richmond, DBE PC LLD FBA

Lady Hale is the United Kingdom’s most senior woman judge.  She became the first, and sadly the only, woman ‘Lord of Appeal in Ordinary’ in 2004, after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer and judge. She was educated at Richmond High School for Girls in Yorkshire and Girton College, Cambridge. She taught Law at Manchester University for 18 years, specialising in family and social welfare law, and also practising for a while at the Manchester Bar. In 1984 she became the first woman to serve on the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law. There she led the work of the family law team, resulting (among others) in the Children Act 1989 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She was a founder member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and chair of its Code of Practice Committee from 1990 to 1994, when she was appointed a Judge of the Family Division of the High Court. She was promoted to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in 1999 and in 2004 to the House of Lords. This was the top court for the whole United Kingdom, until the ‘Law Lords’ became the Justices of the newly established Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in 2009. She became Deputy President of the Court in 2013. She is author and co-author of a number of books, including The Family, Law and Society: Cases and Materials (6th edition 2009) and Mental Health Law (5th edition, 2010). She retains her links with the academic world as Chancellor of the University of Bristol and Visitor of Girton College. She also helped to establish the United Kingdom Association of Women Judges in 2004 and from 2010 to 2012 served as President of the International Association of Women Judges, a world wide body of both men and women judges committed to equality and human rights for all.