Baroness Hale will become the first female president of the UK Supreme Court. On 2 October, the 72 year old will take over from Lord Neuberger, who is retiring in September, having been his deputy since June 2013.
Hale has encouraged diversity in the judiciary for a number of years and has previously commented that it is ‘not only mainly male, overwhelmingly white, but also largely the product of a limited range of educational institutions and social backgrounds’.
Speaking about her appointment, she said: “It is a great honour and a challenge to be appointed to succeed Lord Neuberger. 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.”
The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal for civil cases in the UK, and criminal cases from England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It considers cases where an order has already been made in a lower court and is being challenged. For Baroness Hale such cases include the government’s Brexit appeal and the appeal from the parents of Charlie Gard.