Her Honour Judge Sarah Wright

Sarah Wright is a Circuit Judge at Sheffield Combined Court and was one of 10 Bicentenary honorary fellows chosen to mark the university’s 200th anniversary in 2023.

Sarah was chosen because of her commitment to law and the judicial system for more than 40 years.

She was presented by Professor Phil Vickerman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), on behalf of Maria Burquest, University Secretary and General Counsel, at a special event held at St George’s Hall in November 2023 to welcome the new honorary fellows.

Sarah graduated in law from our predecessor, the Liverpool Polytechnic in 1983, and practiced as a barrister for nearly 30 years at Park Square, Leeds, and Paradise Chambers, Sheffield, before being appointed to the Circuit Bench in January 2014. She now sits at Sheffield Crown Court, presiding over the most severe criminal cases, including murder.

She has been at the forefront of promoting access to justice for all and introducing special measures designed to allow vulnerable witnesses and defendants to participate fully in the judicial process.

Outside of the courtroom, her enthusiasm for rugby league and inclusion within the sport also saw her become the first female chair of the Rugby Football League’s (RFL) Operational Rules Tribunal Panel in 2020, bringing her legal expertise to support the sport’s growth and success.

Her late father, Frank, played as a hooker for Warrington between 1953 and 1958 and then signed with his hometown club, Wigan.

On her appointment the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer Karen Moorhouse said: “We are delighted that Sarah Wright has agreed to join the panel. She will be the first female Chair of the ORT. The game is lucky to draw on a combination of legal expertise and appropriate other experience through the members of our Operational Rules Tribunals.”