Lady Brenda Hale
Michael Berkeley's guest is deputy president of the UK Supreme Court Lady Brenda Hale. Her selections include operas by Beethoven, Britten and Mozart, plus music by Strauss.
Lady Hale is a trailblazer. 30 years ago, she was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission (and the youngest person there); 10 years ago, she was the first female judge to be appointed to the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (as Baroness Hale of Richmond) and there hasn't been another woman appointed since. Last year she was appointed as the Deputy President of the Supreme Court. Where she is still the only woman! Her judgments have changed family and equality law in this country; and despite her eminent role she remains outspoken about domestic violence, women in prison, and the rights of children.
In Private Passions, she talks about her upbringing in Yorkshire, one of three daughters ? and about being in such a minority when she began to study law. Lady Hale chooses music which connects with her professional life: operas about crime, punishment and injustice (Beethoven's Fidelio and Britten's Billy Budd). She talks about how she'd like to change the law on divorce, and why she loves Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. She discusses the conflict between reason and emotion in her work, and reveals that she is haunted by certain cases from the past. And she reflects on the way her judicial role has revealed the worst ? but also the best ? of human nature. Finally, during this season of exam stress, she reveals her revision tip: march up and down the room, reciting the textbook and listening to Strauss.
Produced by Elizabeth Burke, for Loftus.
First broadcast 11/05/2014.