Third woman in history appointed to UK Supreme Court

The Supreme Court judges as of October 2017

Amongst the three judges appointed to the supreme court yesterday was Lady Justice Arden DBE, who becomes the third woman to be appointed as a Supreme Court judge since its creation in 2009. 

Lady Arden will sit alongside Lady Hale, the first woman to be appointed to the role of President of the Supreme Court and the UK’s most senior judge, and Lady Black as one of three female and nine male Supreme Court judges. She will take up her new judicial role on 1 October 2018 along with Lord Kitchen. They will be followed by Lord Sales who will join the Supreme Court in January 2019.

Lady Hale, welcomed the appointments:

“I am delighted that the Supreme Court will be joined by three new Justices in the coming months, each of whom has led a distinguished judicial career.”

The appointments, follow the retirement of Lord Mance, Lord Hughes and Lord Sumpton, all of whom are due to retire by the end of this year.

Getting into the club

Law remains a career criticized for its lack of diversity. Judiciary Diversity Statistics published last year show that only 28% of court judges in the are female – one of the lowest percentages in Europe.

Whilst the addition of another female judge to the Supreme Court should be celebrated as a move in the right direction, there is a long way to go before we can call our judiciary representative. For ethnic minorities, the situation is even more pronounced. Black, Asian and minority ethnic minority (BAME) judges account for just 7% of court judges.

Tipping the scales

There is good news, the judicial system has recognized the need for change, the Judicial Diversity Committee has been formed and change is creeping in.

Read more on the current Justices of the Supreme Court.

Written by

Harriet Trevor-Allen – OULS News Editor

Header image: The Supreme Court judges as of October 2017

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images


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