President of Supreme Court to Consider Moral Courage in the Law in Worcester Lecture


Baroness Hale of Richmond, who is the first female President of the UK Supreme Court, will be giving the free public lecture, a joint venture between the University of Worcester and the Cathedral, on Thursday, February 21, at 6pm.

Titled Moral Courage in the Law, Lady Hale, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University in 2016, will propose that judges demonstrate moral courage when they are true to their judicial oaths, whatever the consequences may be.

This comes in the same year that the University will see its first students graduate from its School of Law and marks the 100th anniversary of women being allowed to enter the legal profession.

Lady Hale taught law at university for 18 years and then promoted the reform of the law at the Law Commission for over nine years. She was appointed a high court judge in 1994.  In 1999, she was promoted to the Court of Appeal and in 2004 to the appellate committee of the House of Lords, which became the Supreme Court in 2009. The Supreme Court hears appeals on arguable points of law of the greatest public importance, for the whole of the United Kingdom in civil cases, and for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in criminal cases. Lady Hale  became the first female President of the Supreme Court in 2017. Her principal interests are in family, social welfare and equality law and she has published several books on these themes.

The Worcester Lectures, hosted by the University of Worcester and Worcester Cathedral, are designed to contribute to the rich cultural heritage of Worcester, celebrating and further strengthening the links between the two institutions.  A common theme that binds the annual lectures is the aim to explore morality in public life.

Previous speakers have included Dame Anne Owers DBE, the then HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Sir Keir Starmer QC, the then Director of the Public Prosecution Service, and now the Shadow Brexit Secretary, and former Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Charles Clarke.

The University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Sarah Greer, said: “At each Worcester Lecture we hear from key figures, whether in politics, society or the law, who help to give us new perspectives on the issues which really matter to all of us.  As we mark a century since women were allowed to enter the legal profession, we are honoured to welcome Lady Hale, not only as the President of the UK’s top appeal court, but as someone who has broken new ground for women throughout her career in the law and whose shining example has inspired others to follow her lead.  I hope members of the public will join us for this thought-provoking lecture.”

Canon Dr Georgina Byrne of Worcester Cathedral said: “Baroness Hale is a pioneering woman at the top of her profession, whose work now places her at the forefront of national life. I am looking forward to hearing her speak of the courage such work requires.”