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Who is Supreme Court president Lady Hale?

Lady Hale is known for her appreciation of a nice brooch, preferably one from the natural world
Digital Staff

Brenda Hale is the head of the Supreme Court and the first woman to hold the position, having been appointed in October 2017.

The 74-year-old has championed diversity in the judiciary and is credited with redrawing family law during her tenure on the Law Commission.

Lady Hale attended a state school in Yorkshire and graduated top of her class with a degree in law from Girton College, Cambridge.

An 18-year career in academia at the University of Manchester law faculty followed during which she qualified as a barrister and practised at the Manchester Bar.

In 1984 she became the first woman and youngest person to be appointed to the legal reform body the Law Commission.

Fives years later she was appointed a QC and in 1994 a part-time judge, becoming the first High Court judge to have forged a career as an academic and public servant rather than as a practising barrister.

In 1999 she became the second woman to be appointed to the Court of Appeal and in October 2009 the first woman justice of the Supreme Court. Four years later she took up the position of deputy leader of the UK's highest court.

Read more: Lady Hale's spider brooch becomes social media star after Supreme Court ruling

The Yorkshire woman was the first female law lord and upon entering the House of Lords in 2004 chose a coat of arms whose Latin motto translates as “women are equal to everything”.

On the day she was sworn in as Supreme Court president the court gained its second female justice, with Lady Hale commenting: “It’s a particular pleasure for me to welcome at long last another woman member the court. I hope it won’t take another 13 years before we have a third, fourth and fifth member of this court.”

Lady Hale will be one of the last judges to retire at 75 as legislation compelling judges to step down at 70 was introduced after she took up the post.

After today's Supreme Court ruling in which British Prime Minister Boris Johnston's suspension of Parliament was found to be "unlawful", Lady Hale will have become a household name and comparisons to US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are inevitable.

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