Dame Sue Carr Becomes First Female Lady Chief Justice In England, Wales

‘I do not underestimate the challenges that lie ahead, and I look forward to approaching the role with energy, enthusiasm, and positivity’

Dame Sue Carr Becomes First Female Lady Chief Justice In England, Wales

Dame Sue Carr has been appointed Lady Chief Justice, making her the first woman to hold that position in England and Wales.

At a ceremony held at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday, she was sworn in in front of her family, prominent members of the legal community, and several senior judges.

The Lady Chief Justice Lady Carr, was sworn in after the retirement of the previous Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett. She is the 98th person to hold the position, which dates back to the 13th century.

“It is a wonderful honor to take on this position,” she remarked. “I want to honor Lord Burnett for his exceptional fortitude and leadership in the face of enormous upheaval, notably his ability to keep the courts open during the epidemic,” she added.

She said, “I am aware of the challenges that lay ahead, and I want to pursue my new position with vigor, excitement, and optimism.”

"The rule of law is a fundamental constitutional principle that supports an open, equitable, and peaceful society where people can live free lives and businesses can thrive," she added.

The Lady Chief Justice's responsibilities include coordinating with the government, including the allocation of resources to the judiciary, and being in charge of the judges' welfare, training, and direction, as well as their placement and distribution of work in the courts.

In 1987, Lady Carr passed the bar, and in 2003, she was awarded silk. Throughout her legal career, she held a variety of important positions, including that of complaints commissioner for the International Criminal Court in The Hague and chair of the Bar Standards Board conduct committee.

Before being named a Lady Justice of Appeal in 2020, she was appointed a criminal judge in 2009 and a high court judge in 2013.