First 100 Years
An art exhibition at The Supreme Court
Wednesday 2 January to Thursday 31 January 2019
Weekdays, 09:30 to 16:30 (last entry 16:00)
Free, no booking required
Location in Supreme Court building
Lobby on second floor
UK Supreme Court to host special exhibition to celebrate 100 years of women in law
A 'pop-up exhibition', marking the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (removal) Act 1919, will be on show at the Supreme Court throughout January 2019. The exhibition, kindly on loan from the First 100 Years Project, will celebrate 100 years of women in law.
The exhibition will examine each decade of the last one hundred years of women in law. It charts the progress that was made and spotlights female 'trailblazers' who helped to pave the way for other women in the legal profession. These key figures include: Helena Normanton, who became the first woman to practise as a barrister in England in 1922; Eileen Kennedy, who was appointed as the first female judge in the Republic of Ireland in 1965; and Lady Hale, who was appointed as the first female Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in the House of Lords in 2004 and then became the first female President of the Supreme Court in 2017.
The exhibition will be on display in the Lobby Area, on the second floor of the Supreme Court building, which is fully accessible.
Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, said:
"Throughout 2019 we will be marking a very important centenary for women in the legal profession as it is one hundred years since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which made it possible for women to be admitted to the legal profession and public office. Since that time women have made their mark in all areas of law but it has not been easy - the first women qualified as solicitors and barristers in 1922 but it was not until 1989 that the first woman was appointed to the Court of Appeal and until 2004 that the first woman was appointed to the very highest court - which was then the House of Lords. In 2017 the number of women in the Supreme Court doubled from one to two, and in 2018 we added a further woman to the bench bringing the female contingent up to a quarter, so progress is still being made.
We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition in the Supreme Court as a celebration of what has been achieved over the last 100 years. The exhibition looks at each decade in turn and is a wonderful way to mark the beginning of our centenary year."
Dana Denis-Smith, Trustee of the First 100 Years Project, said:
"The First 100 Years project has been four years in the making, leading up to the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act in 1919. I set up the project because women in the law were unaware of their history - many women did not know that until 1919 they were barred from entering the legal profession just because they were women. Our exhibition was created to educate the public about this history by celebrating the stories of the pioneering women, but also to inspire future generations that a career in the law is possible for all women. We are thrilled that the exhibition is beginning this centenary year in the Supreme Court, the home of law in the United Kingdom. I can think of no better location to host it to celebrate the culmination of all that women have achieved in the law over the last 100 years, including the presence of Lady Hale as the first female President of the Supreme Court."