Who? Angela Jackman, education, community care and mental capacity partner at London firm Maxwell Gillott.
Why is she in the news? Acted for a mother and her teenage daughter in a judicial review challenge to a UK government policy that refuses NHS abortions to women living in Northern Ireland.
The 1967 Abortion Act covers all parts of the UK with the exception of Northern Ireland, with the result that more than 1,000 women annually travel from the province to other parts of the country to terminate their pregnancy.
Mr Justice King dismissed the challenge in the High Court. He said that the health secretary’s duty to promote a comprehensive health service did not extend to Northern Ireland because, under the province’s devolutionary powers, it has outlawed abortion – and it was not for the court to reverse the decision.
Jackman told the Gazette she is making an application to appeal the ruling.
Thoughts on the case: ‘This challenge was long overdue, not least because article 8 human rights are engaged. It is time the government showed some political will to correct the anomaly that allows some UK citizens to have a free abortion while others have to pay for it.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I enjoyed public speaking at school. I was also influenced by my older sister, who worked in a law centre.’
Career high: ‘Acted in a 2011 case for 11-year-old “G”, who was excluded from his new school within half an hour of arriving there because wearing his hair in braids was against the school’s dress policy. A judge ruled that such a policy had a disproportionate effect on Afro-Caribbean boys, who through the custom, practice and traditions (as opposed to the religion) of their communities wore their hair in that way.’
Career low: ‘Cuts to legal aid.’