‘Brenda Hale’s story is extraordinary. She has been a pioneer… Spider woman and agent of change’ Harriet Harman
Lady Hale is an inspirational figure admired for her historic achievements and for the causes she has championed. Spider Woman is her story.
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.
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.
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.
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 Inspirational and iconic, a memoir of deep humanity and warmth, to remind us what is possible and what remains to be done in the quest for justice and decency -- Philippe Sands Brenda Hale is a feminist icon. Her razor-sharp intelligence, profound belief in equality and her warm humanity made her THE outstanding judge of our times. Her success story is an inspiration for men and women both - showing that law matters. It is vital to progress but its servants must have vision, integrity, courage and wit. That is why this woman is a superhero -- 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 of how one girly swot from Yorkshire made it to the top spot in the highest court in the United Kingdom without compromising her feminism and passion for equality -- Cherie Blair A compelling account of a path-breaking and inspirational career by one of the most influential lawyers and judges of our times. She convincingly settles some scores with those who tried to stand in the way of progress -- David Pannick QC Brenda Hale's story is extraordinary. She has been a pioneer as a woman in the entrenched male-dominated of the legal world. And a beacon of plain speaking in a world of judicial jargon. Her success, against the odds, showed women and girls - and the male establishment - that the highest courts require women. The male establishment who barely tolerated her, often only through gritted teeth, should be on their knees thanking her. She breathed modernity into one of our oldest institutions. Spider woman and agent of change -- Harriet Harman Lady Hale takes us on the journey from 'girly swot' to 'Spider Woman' and along the way teaches us about the importance of the rule of law and protecting human rights. This book tells her story with humanity, humour and deep insight -- Minouche Shafik This is an extraordinary and essential journey through the law by the most inspiring of figures -- Nazir Afzal
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