Lade Hale says not enough women barristers are seen in the Supreme Court

Not enough women barristers are appearing in the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court’s most senior judge has said.

Supreme Court president Lady Hale says Supreme Court justices do not see as many women appearing before them as they should.

She says in the 10 years since the Supreme Court opened about one in five barristers appearing before justices have been women.

Lady Hale, the most senior woman judge in British legal history, has raised concern about discrimination in a lecture to lawyers called in London called Women In Law – The Next 100 years.

“We know that women are joining the profession in equal if not greater numbers than men,” said when delivering the BACFI Denning Lecture.

Judges Service ceremony
Lady Hale( Victoria Jones/PA)

“But they are not making it to the top in private practice, either at the Bar or in solicitors’ firms.

“There are a lot of aspects to this.

“I still hear shocking stories of discrimination – women not being instructed in the best cases and even being charged out at less money than the men doing the same sort of work.”

She added: “We certainly don’t see as many women appearing in the Supreme Court as we ought to do.

“Over the 10 years since we opened, they have been roughly one fifth of appearances, and I suspect that most of these will have been in supporting roles rather than on their feet.”

Supreme Court officials have published a transcript of the lecture on the Supreme Court website.

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