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Durham Law School

Staff Profiles

Publication details for Professor Erika Rackley

Rackley, Erika. (2009). Detailing Judicial Difference. Feminist Legal Studies 17(1): 11-26.

Author(s) from Durham


In January 2004 Baroness Brenda Hale became the first woman to sit on the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. Five years on, she has brought to her judicial role a lightness of touch that belies her increasingly significant impact on the court’s jurisprudence. Early forecasts that she would be “just a bit different” from her male companions have proved prophetic. However such assessments have stemmed primarily from a focus on her decision-making on a case-by-case basis. But what of her jurisprudence as a whole? This paper considers arguments for a more sustained and coherent methodological approach to analyses of Baroness Hale’s (and other judges’) jurisprudence as a framework through which to better understand and explore the potential of judicial difference and to better inform current debates about increasing judicial diversity in England and Wales.