Friday, 20 September 2019

Is Brenda Hale, President of the Supreme Court, Britain's Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

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It was typical of Margaret Thatcher's  un-conservative government that it made divorce available almost on demand by enacting the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, based on the recommendations of the Law Commission, a progressive and often malign institution created by Harold Wilson's Labour government in 1964.

Lady Hale,  President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom which will decide whether Parliament was lawfully prorogued, is a progressive in a way that is typical of former Law Commissioners, but in her case it is very accentuated. She tries in vain to persuade her male colleagues to resign from all male clubs and wanted unmarried live-in girlfriends (and boyfriends) to have the same rights to alimony as spouses. 

She had for many years a tendresse with another Law Commissioner, while married to someone else - she eventually left her husband for him. There was a time when that sort of thing prevented you being appointed a judge, but those days are long gone. Those were the days when judges talked about the sanctity of marriage but, thanks partly to the Law Commission, marriage isn't considered sacred any more.

I read in the papers, when she was appointed to the Supreme Court, that this was done because she was a woman rather than because of her ability, but I have no idea if this is true. She since went on to be President. She designed herself a silly hat to wear. (Judges, thanks to New Lavour, no longer wear wigs). 

She was excoriated by Melanie Phillips in this article from years ago when she was Dame Brenda Hale.
Dame Brenda was the principal architect, for example, of the Children Act, which, by giving children 'rights', has helped destroy the authority of adults and made it impossible for teachers, social workers or even parents physically to restrain children from mischief without the child reporting them to the police.
Dame Brenda was behind a Bill in the Nineties - which was eventually withdrawn - which would have given live-in girlfriends who had left the mutual home the right to win a court order to move back, or even have their boyfriends evicted from their own property.
And Dame Brenda was behind the ultimately doomed attempt to remove the concept of fault from divorce law, which would have given the marriage contract less significance than buying a second-hand car. Public opinion - led by the Daily Mail - put paid to that particular initiative.
However, as she announced last week, she still wants to see no-fault divorce introduced.
Here is an admiring article from Prospect under the rubric:


Lady justice: is the judiciary ready for Brenda Hale?
The new president of the UK's Supreme Court is not afraid to disrupt the legal establishment she now leads. Her feminism could shake up not just the young court, but the country

In the article we learn that she is proudly feminist and supports affirmative action and positive discrimination in favour of women and ethnic minorities when judicial appointments are made.


I very much miss the old system whereby the House of Lords was the court of final appeal in the UK. The Supreme Court which took over this role is not well known to the British. They know more about the US Supreme Court (thanks to the British media's obsession with America).

Brenda Hale might be England's Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If so this might not augur well for the Conservative government. 

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