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Lady Black in Academic robe with quote

The Rt Hon Lady Jill Black was awarded an Honorary Degree on Wednesday 6 July to become a Doctor of Law. A graduate of Durham Law School and Trevelyan College, Lady Black's impressive career saw her appointed as a Justice of the UK Supreme Court and Head of International Family Justice before her retirement last year.

Specialising in family law, Lady Black took silk in 1994. She was appointed a High Court judge in 1999, also becoming a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). Lady Black was appointed a Lady Justice of Appeal in 2010 and, in 2017, she became the second women to be appointed as a Justice of the UK Supreme Court, retiring in 2021. Amongst the additional roles she fulfilled whilst a judge, she was Head of International Family Justice, and Vice Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission.

Speaking of her time at Durham, Lady Black said: “Durham University provided me with a first-class education in law, which has stood me in good stead for the whole of my legal career, and it was also the perfect environment in which to find my feet as an adult.”

Congratulating Lady Black, the Dean of Durham Law School, Professor Volker Roeben, said:

“I wish to congratulate Lady Black on her doctorate. An alumna of Durham Law School and the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, she is an inspiration to us all.”