By DebbieH 18 Sep 2018 7 min read

Female majority in Supreme Court for the first time

In a gender equality milestone, two male and three female justices will hear a case next month.

For the first time in legal history, a Supreme Court case will be sat by a female majority. Three of the five judges hearing the case of Re D on 3 October will be women – the first time in the UK’s highest court or its predecessor, the House of Lords.

According to Legal Cheek,Lady Justice Arden, who site on the Court of Appeal, will step up to the top bench on 1 October alongside Lord Justice Kitchin. The Supreme Court can sit with a minimum of three judges but in practice always had five or more per case, meaning that the court needed three female judges in post for a female majority to occur.

Arden will accompany Supreme Court president Lady Hale and third female justice Lady Black to decide Re D, a deprivation of liberty case concerning a vulnerable 16-year old boy.

Lady Hale, now Supreme Court President became the first woman to be appointed to the country’s highest court when she became a Law Lord in 2004. LAdy Hale was joined by Lady Black in 2017. Arden’s addition makes 3 out of 12.

Hale has previously spoken out the lack of female representation in the upper ranks of the judiciary, saying that women are still “seriously unrepresented” at the top.

A report published in 2017 from the human rights group JUSTICE showed that the UK has one of the least diverse senior judiciaries in the world.