Lady Black to be the second woman Supreme Court judge

Published 21st July 2017

Dame Jill Black’s appointment as Supreme Court judge will bring the number of women in the country’s highest court to two.

Commenting on Lady Black’s appointment, First 100 Years founder Dana Denis-Smith told Legal Cheek that the judicial appointments represented “one of the most significant landmarks for women in law.” While noting the improvement in the representation of women on the Supreme Court bench, Dana said that there was room for further progress.

“The ratio of men to women on the court still does not reflect the parity that we so need in the highest judicial forum in the country; but having a 100% uplift in the number of women — to two justices — is a step change.”

Lady Black was appointed to the High Court in 1999, assigned to the Family Division. In 2004 she became the Chairman of the Judicial Studies Board’s Family Committee, until her appointment as a Judicial Appointments Commissioner in 2008, where she served until 2013. She was appointed a Lady Justice of Appeal in 2010. She is currently the Head of International Family Justice.

The first lawyer in her family, Lady Black’s initial career at the Bar involved a broad range of criminal and civil work but she later specialised in family law. She attended Penrhos College in North Wales before studying at Durham University.