Dame Sue Carr Becomes First Female Lord Chief Justice

Dame Sue Carr Becomes First Female Lord Chief Justice in History

King Charles has formally appointed 58-year-old Dame Sue Carr as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, marking the first time the position has been held by a woman in its 750-year history.

Carr’s appointment follows the retirement of Ian Burnett in October 2022. She first qualified as a lqwyer in 1987 after studying law at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was first appointed as a judge in 2009, becoming a High Court judge in 2013. She is also former vice-chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission.

Though the title of Lord Chief Justice has been set down in law since 1268, justice minister Alex Chalk has told hte BBC that the title could be changed depending on Carr’s wishes. Any formal changes to the title “will not be made in haste and are for a later date”.

The main responsibilities of the Lord Chief Justice include representing the views of the judiciary to parliament and government, ensuring the welfare, training and guidance of judges, discussing the provision of resources to the judiciary, and handling the deployment of judges and allocation of work in courts. Carr was told upon application that she was expected to serve for at least four years, during which time she will be charged with tackling outstanding issues including wide-ranging case backlogs and an accelerating push for modernisation across courts and tribunals.

The appointment is made by the king on the advice of Chalk and the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, following the recommendation of an independent selection panel.

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