The UK government has appointed 72-year-old Brenda Marjorie Hale as the first female president of the Supreme Court, the head of the highest court in the country.

She will be taking charge as the head of Britain’s top judging panel in September following the retirement of current president, Lord Neuberger, 10 Downing Street said in a statement.

“It is a great honour and a challenge,”- Brenda Marjorie Hale 

She added: “I look forward to building upon his pioneering achievements, including developing closer links with each part of the United Kingdom, for example by sitting outside London, and improving the ways in which we communicate our work to the public.”

“Recent high-profile cases mean that more people than ever before have heard of the Supreme Court, and we hope that this will help to create a broader understanding of how the judiciary serves society.”

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Know more about her:

  1. Hale served as Neuberger’s deputy since 2013.
  2. Hale attended Cambridge University before teaching law at Manchester University. She qualified as a barrister and practiced at the Manchester Bar, where she specialised in family and social welfare law and founded the Journal of ‘Social Welfare and Family Law’ and became the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission in 1984.
  3.  Five years later, Lady Hale became a High Court judge – the first to have made her career as an academic and public servant rather than a practising barrister – and was the second woman ever promoted to the Court of Appeal and first female Law Lord.
  4. She is closely associated with the academic world as Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Visitor of Girton College, Cambridge, and Visiting Professor of King’s College London.
  5.  The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal for civil cases in the UK, and criminal cases from England, Northern Ireland and Wales – which means it considers cases where an order had already been made in a lower court and is being challenged.

While women and ethnic minorities remain severely underrepresented in the UK’s judicial system, the appointment of Brenda Marjorie Hale is a great step towards roping in deserving women for important leadership roles.

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