Who was the first British woman High Court judge?

ELIZABETH LANE 1905 – 1988

Although Rose Heilbron and Helena Normanton were appointed as KCs before her, Elizabeth Lane was the next.

Unlike her predecessors, Elizabeth didn’t follow the campaigning route into the law.

She didn’t start to study law until her husband, Randall Lane, decided he would become a barrister.

Elizabeth decided that she would join him and in 1940 she too was called to the Bar. She was appointed a KC in 1950 and in 1962 became the first female judge appointed to the County Court.

In 1965 she became the first woman High Court judge until she retired in 1979.

At 15 February 2021, there are 105 Justices of the High Court (16 Chancery Division, 20 Family Division, and 69 Queen’s Bench Division judges), 74 male and 31 female.

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