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Southampton lecture by the first female President of the Supreme Court reflects on 100 years of women in the law

Published: 3 May 2019

Hundreds of law professionals, staff and students gathered at Southampton Law School for a lecture by Lady Hale - the first female President of the Supreme Court – that reflected on 100 years of women in the law.

Lady Hale gave the annual Centre for Law, Policy and Society (CLPS) Lecture exploring the introduction and rise of women into the legal system, and the different equality challenges that are still facing the profession today.

She said: “We are here to celebrate 100 years since women in the UK were allowed to join the legal profession and become magistrates and eventually judges. The guiding principles of law are justice, fairness and equality. These values should be visible, not only in our law, but also in the lawyers that administer them.”

Professor Brenda Hannigan, Head of Southampton Law School, welcomed Lady Hale saying: “Lady Hale is a great inspiration to us all. She has had the most outstanding career and I want our students in the audience, not only to be inspired by her, but also to think about the hard work, the commitment, the dedication and the perseverance that it takes to build a career like that.”

The CLPS Annual Lecture is one of the many ways in which the Centre facilitates interdisciplinary dialogue amongst legal scholars, students, policymakers and practitioners on questions of law, policy and society, and how they relate to pertinent issues of the day. Previous speakers have included the former Chair of the Parole Board for England and Wales, Professor Nick Hardwick.

Dr Alun Gibbs, Co-Director of the CLPS, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people attending Lady Hale’s very interesting lecture that shed light on the historical struggle for professional recognition by women in the law, and demonstrated the difference that recognition has made to the shape of law in society.”

Lady Hale - President of the Supreme Court
Lady Hale - President of the Supreme Court
Lady Hale is presented her own Hale's Angels jumper from our netball team
Lady Hale is presented her own Hale's Angels jumper from our netball team
President & Vice Chancellor (interim) Professor Mark Spearing, Head of Southampton Law School Professor Brenda Hannigan, Lady Hale, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Jane Falkingham
President & Vice Chancellor (interim) Professor Mark Spearing, Head of Southampton Law School Professor Brenda Hannigan, Lady Hale, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Jane Falkingham
Lady Hale with CLPS directors Dr Alun Gibb and Dr Harry Annison
Lady Hale with CLPS directors Dr Alun Gibb and Dr Harry Annison

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