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“Matrimony, Patriarchy and the Welfare of Children”

The 200 year struggle to give parents equal rights in the upbringing of their children.

The Rt Hon Baroness Hale of Richmond will trace the evolution of mothers’ rights from the reforming Custody of Infants Act 1839 (Talfourd’s Act). That Act merely allowed mothers to petition the court for custody of their children under seven and granted them the opportunity to petition for access to their older children. She will consider the wider and more child focused legislation of the late 19th Century and the growing recognition of mothers’ rights from then to the major reforming Acts of the 20th Century, the Guardianship of Infants Act 1925 and the Guardianship Act 1972, and ask what equal parental ‘rights and authority’ mean today.

About The Rt Hon Baroness Hale of Richmond

Baroness Hale is the immediate past President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. In a career of remarkable distinction she has been a professor of law at Manchester University, a Law Commissioner, a Queen’s Counsel, a judge of the Family Division of the High Court, and of the Court of Appeal. In 2017 she served as Treasurer of Gray’s Inn.

Baroness Hale has made a leading contribution to family law and reform over the last four decades often focusing on the inequalities to be found within the law and outcomes before the courts for women. She has made an invaluable contribution to ensuring that the law and the courts focused on the welfare and voices of children. Baroness Hale has written and spoken on a wide range of subjects both nationally and internationally, but this is the first time that she has agreed to give such a tour d’horizon of the history of women’s rights in relation to their children in modern times.

Event details

Location: At the Inn and online

There will be a reception held following the lecture

Date and time: Wednesday 29 November, 6pm

Dress code: Casual

Cost: Free for Members of all four Inns of Court and guests


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