(CMR) Lady Arden of Heswall, DBE, arrived in the Cayman Islands on Tuesday, 22 March, and will participate in a series of events, the highlight of which will be a lecture in the Grand Court on 25 March, as part of the Judicial Administration’s Distinguished Lecture series.
Lady Arden recently retired jointly from the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the latter being the final appellate court for the Cayman Islands.
The topic of her Grand Court lecture is “Taking Stock of Recent Jurisprudence of the Privy Council.” The Lecture will take place in Court Room 1 and will be concurrently broadcast in Court Room 2 and possibly Courtroom 5. Members of the public may access the broadcast via live stream on https://www.judicial.ky.
The distinguished jurist will also participate in a panel discussion sponsored by the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, Cayman Islands Network (IWIRC), on Wednesday (30 March), on the topic of “Break the Bias in the Workplace.” The event will be in recognition of International Women’s Month.
Other IWIRC panelists will be Cayman Islands Grand Court Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale and Sophia-Ann Harris, chairwoman of the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission and founder and former managing partner of the law firm Solomon Harris. Rachel Reynolds, QC, Global Senior Partner, Ogier, will be the moderator. For further brief details on the panelists, please see attached.
Meanwhile, Lord Mance will chair a joint Judicial Administration and RISA (Recovery & Insolvency Specialists’ Association Cayman) panel discussion on Thursday (24 March) at the Cinema, Camana Bay.
That panel’s topic is “The Role and Benefits of Arbitration—the International and Caymanian Perspective.” See attached for information on panelists and further details. Notably, Lord Mance delivered the Distinguished Guest Lecture at the Cayman Islands Grand Court in 2015 on the topic of “Jurisdiction and Justiciability.”
A visit to the Truman Bodden Law School, where students will have a chance to meet her for a question-and-answer session, is also on Lady Arden’s schedule for 23 March.
Other activities will include an inter-island tour that will take her to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman (27 March).
Lady Arden was appointed to the Bench in 1993, when she became the first woman to be appointed to the Chancery Division, one of three divisions of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. As is customary, on that appointment, she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).
The Chancery Division is that country’s largest unit for handling business and property cases. Lady Arden was subsequently appointed to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in 2000, where she served for 18 years. In October 2018, she was appointed jointly to the United Kingdom Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The Supreme Court is the highest for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Judges are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, who receives recommendations from a selection commission.
As a trailblazer for women in jurisprudence, Lady Arden was featured in a video message published by www.First100Years.org.uk, celebrating women's journey in law. In that video message, Lady Arden said,
“I believe in diversity of thought. My main interest in the law is the cerebral approach of thinking about what the law should be and how it should respond to society’s needs—and how it should move on when it is right for it to move on.”
In that discussion, she said, “[T]here ought to be many minds brought to bear. The research shows that if you bring many minds from different directions, whether it is race, or gender, or ethnicity—whatever—you get a richer result.”
In a career spanning 51 years, Lady Arden was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1971 and later joined Lincoln's Inn in 1973. She read law at Girton College, Cambridge, gaining a starred first in the LLM. She was also awarded an LLM degree in 1970 from Harvard Law School, which she attended as a Kennedy Scholar.