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  • Jessie Foreman

Celebrating Women in Criminal Law

On this International Women’s Day, we at Hallinans would like to celebrate a few of the many incredible women who work in criminal law.

Baroness Brenda Hale

Baroness Hale served as the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the UK from 2013 – 2017 and then as President from 2017 – 2020. She was the third person and first woman to serve in this role. Baroness Hale has had a varied career as an academic, legal reformer and has been appointed to many judicial offices.

Some of her notable accomplishments include:

  • Appointed as a Queen’s Counsel in 1989;

  • Joined the House of Lords as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary – the only woman to be appointed to this position;

  • Received Honorary Fellowship from Bristol University and Mansfield College, Oxford;

  • Appointed Honorary Professor of Law at UCL;

  • Appointed Honorary President of the Cambridge Law Society.

Dame Sue Carr

In October 2023, Dame Carr became Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales. As a part of this role, she will be the President of the Courts of England and Wales and Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales. She is the first woman to hold this office.

Some of her notable accomplishments includes:

  • Called to the Bar in 1987 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2003;

  • Appointed High Court Judge in 2013, assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division;

  • Appointed to the Court of Appeal in April 2020 followed by the Privy Council a year later;

  • The first woman to head the judiciary since its inception in the 13th century.

Baroness Helena Kennedy KC

Baroness Kennedy is a practicing barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and Labour member of the House of Lords. She is an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues.

Baroness Kennedy has been vital in promoting equality for women practicing at the Bar. She joined the Bar Council and campaigned for more research and policy to protect women lawyers. In 1999, the Times bestowed upon her their Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in this area.

Some of her notable cases and accomplishments includes:

  • Chair of the Human Genetics Commission from 1998 – 2007;

  • Founding member of Charter 88;

  • President of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP);

  • Acting as junior counsel for Myra Hindley during her escape from Holloway Prison.

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti

Baroness Chakrabarti is a barrister, politician and human rights activist. She is the director of Liberty, a national organisation that promotes civil liberties through the courts, in government and in society.

Some of her notable cases and accomplishments include:

  • Panel member of the Leveson Inquiry;

  • Chair of the inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party;

  • Chancellor of the University of Essex from 2014 – 2017;

  • Shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Awards for the ‘Most Inspiring Political Figure’ in 2006.


Let us take it from here

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