Top woman judge in 'diversity' plea
The UK's most senior woman judge says she is disappointed that more women have not reached the highest echelons of the judiciary.
Lady Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court - and the only female Supreme Court justice - said she looked forward to a "more diverse future".
She was speaking to journalists in a media conference at the Supreme Court - which is based in London and is the highest court in the UK - staged to coincide with the start of the legal year.
Lady Hale became a Law Lord in 2004 when the the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords was the highest appeal court in the land. She became a Supreme Court justice when the Supreme Court was created in 2009.
"Most of you will also know that while I am flattered and proud to have been the first woman appointed as a Law Lord in 2004 I do not want to be the last," Lady Hale, who was a High Court judge and Court of Appeal judge before being promoted, told reporters.
"I am disappointed that in the 10 years since I was appointed not one among the 13 subsequent appointments to this court has been a woman.
"Now, things are improving in the lower ranks of the judiciary, but regrettably not here."
She the judiciary should be more reflective of society.
"I do not think I am alone in thinking that diversity of many kinds on the bench is important for a great many reasons, but most of all because in a democracy which values everyone equally and not just the privileged and the powerful, it is important that their rights and responsibilities should be decided by a judiciary which is more reflective of the society as a whole, and not just a very small section of it," she said.
"That is important not just in the trial courts which are deciding the facts of the matter, it is, if anything, even more important in this sort of court which is deciding those big issues of the examples that I have given you. So I do look forward to a more diverse future."
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