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Queen Elizabeth appoints female lawyer as Britain's highest ranking judge

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-21 23:00

LONDON - British Queen Elizabeth approved Friday the appointment of the first ever female head of Britain's highest court.

Eminent law lord, Baroness Hale, will become President of Britain's Supreme Court following the retirement in September of the current president, Lord Neuberger.

Baroness Hale was first appointed as a top appeal judge in 2004 and a Justice of the Supreme Court when the court was established in 2009. She has served as deputy president since 2013.

The baroness, who is 72 and a legal expert in family law, described her new role as a great honor and a challenge.

She said in a statement: "I look forward to building upon his pioneering achievements, including developing closer links with each part of the United Kingdom, for example by sitting outside London, and improving the ways in which we communicate our work to the public.

"Recent high-profile cases mean that more people than ever before have heard of the Supreme Court, and we hope that this will help to create a broader understanding of how the judiciary serves society."

It was the Supreme Court, the only court in Britain to be televised, that heard the landmark Article 50 case on whether Prime Minister Theresa May could trigger Britain's process for leaving the European Union with approval of the British parliament. The court ruled the decision had to go before the Houses of Parliament.

The Supreme Court, based in London, is the final court of appeal for civil cases in Britain, and criminal cases for all areas apart from Scotland.

Baroness Hale will be officially sworn in as president on Oct 2, along with three new justices, including a second female judge, Lady Justice Black.

Baroness Hale began her legal career teaching law at the University of Manchester, becoming Professor of Law in 1986.

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