Leading lawyer Lady Hale speaks at University of Suffolk’s inaugural law lecture in Ipswich
One of the country’s most significant lawyers has praised the supportive community in Ipswich on a visit to speak at a law lecture.
Lady Hale, the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, addressed a sell-out audience at the University of Suffolk’s first annual law lecture, which took place on Wednesday at the Waterfront building in Ipswich.
The event, hosted by the University of Suffolk’s Legal Advice Centre in partnership with the Suffolk and North Essex Law Society, marks the first time the university has hosted a dedicated law lecture and was attended by the region’s legal community including solicitors, barristers, judges, A-level law students, alumni and current undergraduate law students.
In her talk, titled ‘Justice in the Supreme Court’, she shared some of her most memorable moments from her career, the history of the Supreme Court and some of the unusual cases that were brought to it, including delivering the court ruling in 2019 that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen requesting that prorogation, meaning the suspension of Parliament, in the lead up to the October 31 Brexit deadline, was ‘unlawful’.
Lady Hale praised the event, the students and the supportive community in Ipswich.
“It was absolutely terrific,” she said. “All these wonderfully enthusiastic young people. But not only enthusiastic young people, all the people locally who are here to support those young people in what they’re doing and what they’re going to do.”
During the event, Lady Hale met some of the current law students who are working with the Legal Advice Centre to find out about their progress and their ambitions for the future.
Lady Hale said: “The University of Suffolk is delivering an innovative and fresh approach to studying law. I have been impressed with what the Legal Advice Centre has achieved – in particular the unique approach to offering legal advice and support to business.”
Eleanor Scarlett, director of the University of Suffolk Legal Advice Centre and senior lecturer in Law, said: “Our inaugural law lecture was a huge success, and we were delighted to welcome Lady Hale to share her experiences from her incredible career.
“Our students, who will soon be embarking on their own legal careers, were inspired hearing about the significant contribution that Lady Hale has made.”
Lady Hale started her career specialising in family and social welfare law and is well known for her impact on how the law deals with domestic violence.
Having broken down many barriers in the legal sector, including becoming the first female law commissioner in 1984 and the first woman Law Lord in 2004, Lady Hale later became the first woman to serve as President of the Supreme Court.
The University of Suffolk launched its Legal Advice Centre in May 2022 which provides free legal advice to the local community, while at the same time providing law students with an opportunity to gain practical experience in two areas of law — family law and new businesses and start-ups.
The university also explores research opportunities through its Institute for Social Justice and Crime (ISJC). The ISJC addresses social issues, understanding the causes and consequences of crime and developing opportunities to expand academic policy and practice knowledge