To the Supreme Court’s annual press briefing, along with at least 20 other legal scribes.
For Obiter the highlight was hearing deputy president and sole woman justice Lady Hale decry the lack of diversity at the top of the judiciary. However the good lady has found some consolation in the look of the court building itself, which she said people had described as being feminised through its transformation from Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.
Waxing lyrical over the internal architecture, Hale said some within the profession felt the court had been ‘stripped of its robust masculinity’.
As a woman, that pleases her – ‘femininity in court buildings is desirable,’ she suggests. What is not desirable though, according to Hale, is the wearing of wigs by judges. Her primary reason for complaint is that the wigs worn by lawyers and judges are ‘mens’ wigs’. One reason early women barristers wanted to wear wigs, says Hale, was so they would look like their male colleagues. But nowadays ‘we’re beyond that – diversity of appearance is as important as diversity of background and experience’.
Though the only rose among 12 thorns, Hale insists that she likes her male colleagues ‘a lot’.