Veteran UK Lawyer Sue Carr named as First Woman to Take on Massive Role as Lord Chief Justice
Veteran UK lawyer Sue Carr was named Thursday as the first woman to serve as the most senior judge for England and Wales. Carr, 58, was appointed as the lord chief justice and will replace current Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett who is retiring in September. Her role, which dates back to the 13th century, comes with the responsibility of overseeing the judiciary in England and Wales (Scotland has a separate legal system). However, the UK Supreme Court was created in 2009, diminishing the title-holder’s pre-eminence.
Carr qualified as a barrister in 1987 and has an impressive resume, which includes working with the International Criminal Court in The Hague. She became a criminal judge in 2009, and has served on the appeals court since 2020. Married with three children, she is a Cambridge graduate and a keen musician who sings in a lawyers’ choir and plays the piano.
Promoting Gender Mix in the Legal Industry
Carr’s appointment comes as the UK government seeks to improve the gender mix in senior legal roles. Despite the progress, men still account for two-thirds of judges, and ethnic minorities are under-represented. The proportion of black judges in England and Wales is just over one percent of the total, barely unchanged from 2014, according to a Law Society report last year. The report went on to say: “At that rate of progress, it would take until 2149 for the proportion of the judiciary who are black to match the current estimate for the general population — 3.5 percent.”
- Carr is the first woman to be appointed the role of lord chief justice for England and Wales.
- The title-holder oversees the judiciary in England and Wales.
- Carr qualified as a barrister in 1987 and has worked with the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
- The UK government seeks to improve the gender mix in senior legal roles, men still account for two-thirds of judges.
- According to a Law Society report, the proportion of black judges is just over one percent of the total in England and Wales.
Carr’s appointment is a massive step forward for diversity and inclusivity in the legal industry. It marks the beginning of what will be a more balanced and fair representation of skilled professionals who could contribute to the betterment of the industry’s reputation and performance.