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Lady Brenda Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, explores the extent to which human rights as we know them can also encompass socio-economic rights. Join her as she discusses recent high-profile Supreme Court decisions relating to denial of asylum, benefit caps and the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.
Lady Brenda Hale, The Right Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond, was appointed Deputy President of The Supreme Court in June 2013, succeeding Lord Hope of Craighead.
In January 2004, Lady Hale became the United Kingdom’s first woman Lord of Appeal in Ordinary after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer, and judge. In October 2009 she became the first woman Justice of The Supreme Court.
After graduating from Cambridge in 1966, she taught law at Manchester University from 1966 to 1984, also qualifying as a barrister and practising for a while at the Manchester Bar. She specialised in Family and Social Welfare law, was founding editor of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, and authored a pioneering case book on The Family, Law and Society.
In 1984 she was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law. Important legislation resulting from the work of her team at the Commission includes the Children Act 1989, the Family Law Act 1996, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She also began sitting as an assistant recorder.
In 1994 she became a High Court judge, the first to have made her career as an academic and public servant rather than a practising barrister. In 1999 she was the second woman to be promoted to the Court of Appeal, before becoming the first woman Law Lord.