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Meet: Baroness Hale

Baroness Hale of Richmond (Brenda Marjorie Hale) is a retired British judge and legal scholar who served as the first female president of the United Kingdom's Supreme Court. Baroness Hale has been involved in many significant cases, particularly in the areas of family law, human rights, and discrimination law. She has also been a prominent advocate for the role of women in the legal profession, and for social justice and equality more broadly.

Key milestones


Baroness Hale graduated from Girton College, University of Cambridge, with a degree in law


Qualified as a barrister from the Bar of England and Wales


Baroness Hale was appointed Queen's Counsel

1984 - 1994

Professor of Law at Manchester University


Appointed as a part-time judge of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice


Baroness Hale was appointed a judge of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice


Appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales


Appointed as the first woman to be appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, which at the time was the highest court in the UK


Elevated to a life peerage as Baroness Hale of Richmond


Baroness Hale was appointed Deputy President of the Supreme Court


Became the first female President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom



Contributions to the law

Baroness Hale specialised in family law and became known for her expertise in the area. However, during her tenure on the Supreme Court, the Baroness was involved in a number of high-profile cases, including 2017's Brexit-related Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and the Prorogation of Parliament in 2019.

Baroness Hale is known for her commitment to social justice and equality and has been an advocate for women's rights and gender equality throughout her career. Furthermore, she has been a vocal supporter of the Human Rights Act and other measures designed to protect individual rights and liberties. The Baroness has advocated for social justice and equality both within the legal profession and the UK as a whole.

In addition to her legal career, Baroness Hale has been involved in a number of educational and charitable organisations. Among other roles, she has been a patron of the British Institute of Human Rights and a trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. She has received numerous honours and awards for her contributions to law and society, and has been elevated to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and peerage as a Baroness. She has also been awarded honorary degrees from a number of English universities, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Leeds, and the University of Bristol.

Baroness Hale has spoken out about the need for more women in leadership positions and has championed initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal sector. Her legacy as a trailblazer for women in the legal profession will undoubtedly be felt for many years to come.

Image by Niamh O'Connor.

This is one in a series of profiles of women who have made incredible contributions to the legal profession and continue to inspire the next generation.

Niamh O'Connor / niamhfoconnor / published 16.03.2023

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