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Roscoe Lecture: The Right Honourable Lady Justice Hallett DBE

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For more than 20 years, LJMU has invited some of the country’s leading commentators to join staff, students and the people of Liverpool in discussing issues that matter to them.

The Roscoe Lectures use research, humour and political insight to explore current, engaging topics.

The Rt. Hon. Dame Heather Carol Hallett DBE, Court of Appeal Judge will present a lecture entitled Why Appeal.

Historically there was no right of appeal in English law. While a civil appeal process developed from the 17th century, criminal appeals took longer to become an established part of our justice system. Parliament considered over 30 Bills on the question of a Court of Criminal Appeal in the 19th century. Its creation in 1907 was not met with universal applause; a leading criminal barrister of the time was unimpressed at the creation of an Appeal Court that could set aside verdicts based on his ‘daring rhetoric’. Since the Court of Criminal Appeals creation that year and its transformation into the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) following the Donovan Committee’s 1965 review, criminal appeals have become an integral part of our criminal process; integral to the fairness of that process. In this lecture Dame Heather Hallett, Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) considers the origins of the criminal appeal process, its operation today, and how it might evolve in the future.

Justice HallettAbout The Rt. Hon. Dame Heather Carol Hallett DBE

Dame Heather  was educated at state schools in Hampshire and at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

She was called to the Bar in 1972. In 1989 she became a QC and was appointed as a Recorder of the CrownCourt. She was elected a Bencher of Inner Temple. She served as Leader of the South Eastern Circuit and as Director of Public Affairs for the Bar Council. She was the first woman to chair the Bar Council in 1998. Her practice was initially general common law but she later specialised in crime.

She became a High Court judge in 1999 and a Presiding Judge of the Western Circuit shortly thereafter. She was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2005.

From 2006 she served on the Judicial Appointments Commission as an inaugural Commissioner and then as Vice Chairman for approximately five years.

Since 2010 she has been Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Judges’ Council/ the Senior Judiciary’s lead on Diversity.

She served as Chairman of the Judicial College between 2010 and 2014

She was elected Treasurer of the Inner Temple for 2011.

In 2011 she was appointed Vice-President of the Queen’s Bench Division.

In 2013 she was appointed Vice President of the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division.

Please note: bookings will open 6 weeks prior to the Lecture date.

For further information email: or call 0151 231 3668