On the twelfth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…twelve judges judging
With Advent upon us, and Christmas on the horizon, RPC takes a musical look back at the most important English judgments of 2018. Liability for all failures of rhythm and rhyme is hereby excluded.
It attracted nothing like the controversy of the US Senate's confirmation of US Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. However, the decision of the two selection commissions to recommend, and of the Lord Chancellor to recommend to the Prime Minister, the appointment of Lady Hale to the Presidency of the UK Supreme Court and of Ladies Black and Arden to the Court marked historic firsts in 2018. It was the first time that a woman had held the post of President of the UK Supreme Court and the first time that the Court has been composed of 25% women (three out of 12). It also led, in short order, to the first case where the panel was majority female. (For non-UK lawyers: unlike some other jurisdictions, the whole of the UK Supreme Court does not sit on every case. Typically, there is a panel of five. Particularly important cases may be heard by larger panels.)
Happily, the appointments came in the year of the centenary of (some) women being permitted to vote; and 99 years after the first female magistrate, 98 years after the first female solicitor, 96 years after the first female barrister, 70 years after the first woman to take silk, 53 years after the first female High Court judge, 30 years after the first female judge in the Court of Appeal, 28 years after the first female general counsel of a FTSE 100 business and 14 years after the first female Supreme Court judge (all in the UK as currently constituted).
While the Court's composition has not reached gender parity and other forms of diversity are even further off, it does better reflect the pool from which judges are most typically drawn – QCs (of which women make up some 15%) and law firm partners (of which women make up around 33% in England & Wales, and less in the biggest firms). Here's hoping to more progress all round in 2019.
But for now, as St Nicholas put it, a happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!
The Twelve Judgments of Christmas (2018)
On the first day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…a privilege in E-N-RC.
On the second day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…two LIBOR reps.
On the third day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…three corporate crimes.
On the fourth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…four contracts.
On the fifth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…five time bars!
On the sixth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…six exclusion clauses.
On the seventh day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…seven fraudsters fleeing.
On the eighth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…eight duties owing.
On the ninth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…nine losses counting.
On the tenth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…ten claims a-noticed.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…eleven groups a-growing.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…twelve judges judging.
 Adopting a loose definition of 'judgment'.
 Re D (A Child) UKSC 2018/0064 on appeal from  EWCA Civ 1695, heard in October 2018.
 I am indebted to the fascinating timeline put together by the history project, the First Hundred Years.
 14.8%, according to the Bar Standards Board's Report on Diversity at the Bar 2017 published in January 2018.
 As of August 2017, according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
 As faithfully reported by Clement Clarke Moore in 'Twas the night before Christmas.