Veteran UK attorney Sue Carr was appointed on Thursday as the first woman to hold the position of lord chief justice, which dates back to the 13th century, and is the highest ranking judge for England and Wales.
Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett, who is retiring at the end of September, was replaced by Carr, 58.
The title-holder is in charge of the judiciary in England and Wales; Scotland has a different legal system. However, the UK Supreme Court’s establishment in 2009 diminished the title-holder’s preeminence.
Sue Carr earned her barrister license in 1987 and has worked with the International Criminal Court in The Hague among other organizations.
She joined the appeals court in 2020 after being appointed as a criminal judge in 2009.
The Cambridge graduate, who is married with three kids and plays the piano and sings in a lawyers’ choir, is an avid musician.
Despite the fact that men make up two-thirds of judges and that racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented, Carr’s nomination comes as the UK government works to increase the gender balance in high legal positions.
According to a Law Society report from 2014, the percentage of black judges in England and Wales is slightly over one percent, barely changing from the previous year.
According to the report, it would take until 2149 for the percentage of black judges to match the current estimate for the general population, which is 3.5%.