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First female president of UK’s highest court sworn in

Lady Hale has been appointed to the Supreme Court’s top role.

The first female president of the UK’s highest court has been sworn in.

Lady Hale’s appointment to the Supreme Court’s top role was announced in a statement from Downing Street in July, guaranteeing her a place in the history books.

A long-standing champion of diversity in the judiciary, she became the first woman justice of the court in October 2009, and was appointed deputy president in June 2013.

There was applause from onlookers at Monday’s ceremony, which marks the beginning of the new legal year.

The Supreme Court also welcomed Lord Mance as deputy president, as well as three new judges – including a second female justice, Lady Black.

Yorkshire-born Lady Hale, 72, who succeeds Lord Neuberger as the UK’s most senior judge, has had a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer and judge.

During her time as deputy president of the Supreme Court, she has ruled on numerous headline-hitting cases, including the Brexit appeal.

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The new Lord Chief Justice, Sir Ian Burnett, at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London before his swearing-in ceremony (Victoria Jones/PA)

At a separate, earlier ceremony, at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, Lord Justice Burnett was sworn in as the new Lord Chief Justice.

The 59-year-old Court of Appeal judge takes over as head of the judiciary of England and Wales from Lord Thomas, who held the position from 2013 and retired on October 1.

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