Spider Woman

Spider Woman : A Life - by the former President of the Supreme Court

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Lady Hale is an inspirational figure admired for her historic achievements and for the causes she has championed. Spider Woman is her story.

As 'a little girl from a little school in a little village in North Yorkshire', she only went into the law because her headteacher told her she wasn't clever enough to study history. She became the most senior judge in the country but it was an unconventional path to the top.

How does a self-professed 'girly swot' get ahead in a profession dominated by men? Was it a surprise that the perspectives of women and other disadvantaged groups had been overlooked, or that children's interests were marginalised? A lifelong smasher of glass-ceilings, who took as her motto 'women are equal to everything', her landmark rulings in areas including domestic violence, divorce, mental health and equality were her attempt to correct that.

As President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale won global attention in finding the 2019 prorogation of Parliament to be unlawful. Yet that dramatic moment was merely the pinnacle of a career throughout which she was hailed as a pioneering reformer.

Wise, warm and inspiring, Spider Woman shows how the law shapes our world and supports us in crisis. It is the story of how Lady Hale found that she could overcome the odds, which shows that anyone from similar beginnings will find that they can cope too.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 35mm | 500g
  • Vintage
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529114047
  • 9781529114041

Review Text

What a life, what a story... Spider Woman is restrained, warm, dryly funny ... and an inspiration to all women to aim high... Whatever her title, Brenda Hale rocks
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Review quote

Brenda Hale is a superhero who embodies Parker's law that great power brings equivalent responsibility. Her wise, accessible memoir is essential, entertaining and inspirational reading for all lovers of freedom, equality and justice -- Shami Chakrabarti What a life, what a story... Spider Woman is restrained, warm, dryly funny ... and an inspiration to all women to aim high... Whatever her title, Brenda Hale rocks -- Melanie Reid * The Times * Inspirational and iconic -- Philippe Sands A feminist icon... Her success story is an inspiration for men and women both - showing that law matters -- Baroness Helena Kennedy QC This book is not only essential reading for anyone who is in the Law or interested in the Law but it is also a fascinating personal story -- Cherie Blair
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About Lady Hale

Brenda Hale, Rt Hon Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE, was born in Yorkshire and studied Law at Girton College, Cambridge. She was called to the Bar in 1969 and spent almost twenty years in academia alongside working as a part-time barrister.

In 1984, Lady Hale became the first woman and the youngest person to be appointed to the Law Commission. During her nine years there, she would oversee critical reforms in family law. She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1989.

Lady Hale became a judge in the Family Division of the High Court of Justice in 1994 and in 2004 was made the United Kingdom's first woman Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. She was appointed Deputy President of the Supreme Court in 2013, and ultimately served as President from 2017 to 2020.
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