Kevin Crosby is a lecturer in law at Newcastle University. His main research interest lies in the history of jury trial. He is currently working on an archival project, funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust and Newcastle University, exploring the uses and representations of female jurors in the assize courts of 1920s England and Wales.
Why First 100 Years is important
The First 100 Years Project offers a focal point for a variety of perspectives on the significance and the consequences of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919. As we approach the legislation’s centenary, there are inevitably a number of projects underway (including my own) which are drawing on particular aspects of the end of the total bar on women acting as lawyers, magistrates, judges and jurors. The First 100 Years project helps tie these varied projects together, enriching our understanding of the reforms as a whole, both in terms of their relationships with one another (what connections might there be between varied regional rates of female jury service and of female magistrates in the years after 1919?) and in terms of their ongoing significance today (what can the earliest years of women’s entry into the legal professions tell us about their status in the professions today?).