Lady Chief Justice annual press conference 2024

Yesterday, the Lady Chief Justice held her annual press conference, at the Royal Courts of Justice. This was was her first press conference as Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, having started her new role in October 2023.

The Lady Chief Justice covered a number of topics including: her ambitions and challenges in her role, the importance of judicial independence, court backlogs and the timeliness of cases, working further towards One Judiciary for the courts and tribunals, further transparency in coverage of cases, the Post Office Horizon scandal, the Single Justice Procedure, diversity of the judiciary, supporting young women and girls appearing in the courts and more.

Baroness Carr at her annual press conference at the Royal Courts of Justice
Baroness Carr at her annual press conference at the Royal Courts of Justice (photo credits courtesy of

The Lady Chief Justice, said:

“I’m really looking forward in the short term to giving the judiciary my voice. I want to be an ambassador for the judiciary across the board. I have gained, if I didn’t have it before, I think I’ve gained the trust of the judges, and I want in the short term to raise our profile and to raise public understanding of what we do, why we do it, and why it’s so important, and the value that we bring.”

Continuing, she added:

“My biggest asset is my judges, they are extraordinary, they work in extremely difficult conditions, they work tirelessly and they are committed, they really are committed to serving the public and the rule of law, and that is a very special thing and you feel it every day when you go out and about in the country visiting courts.”

One of the areas being addressed was timeliness and the impact this has on access to justice and those going through the system, with Cafcass even getting a mentioned. Adding:

“Across the board, when we look at timeliness, there has to be significant investment, and I say across the board again, it’s not just about the judges and the courts, we are in a sense the end of the road. It’s about organisations like Cafcass, and it is about the legal profession as a whole, the criminal bar in particular we know is suffering.”

You can download the full transcript of the press conference here.

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