Tributes paid to Lady Hale at valedictory ceremony ahead of retirement

Senior judges and lawyers paid tribute to UK Supreme Court president Lady Hale today at a valedictory ceremony marking her retirement next month.

The 30-minute ceremony heard from deputy president Lord Reed; Richard Atkins QC, chair of the Bar of England and Wales; Christina Blacklaws, former president of the Law Society of England and Wales; and human rights lawyer Dinah Rose QC, who wore a spider brooch in tribute.

Addressing the court, Lady Hale thanked them for their tributes, but added: “It is very important not to let things go to one’s head.

“As judges, we know that there is always another side to the story from the one you’ve been hearing this morning. Not everyone thinks I’m such a good thing.”

She reflected on her career, quoting a Law Lord who called her “the most ideological, politically correct judge ever to have been appointed” and a “hardline feminist” while she was a Law Commissioner.

The top judge drew laughs from her colleagues when she credited them for being “so open-minded and so unpredictable”, adding that the judgments she was most proud of were all unanimous.

She ended by giving thanks to her judicial colleagues – “especially to those I have managed to persuade over the years” – and the staff at the court.

Tags: UKSC

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