The Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE

First woman to be appointed Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and first woman to chair the Bar Council.

Admitted 1970, Called 1972, Treasurer 2011

The Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE was born in 1949 and is the daughter of Hugh Victor Dudley Hallett QPM (1919-1991), a policeman who worked his way up to the rank of assistant chief constable and secretary general of the International Police Association. She was educated at Brockenhurst Grammar School, in the New Forest, and at St Hugh's College, Oxford.

She was called to the Bar at The Inner Temple in 1972. In 1989 she was appointed a QC, and was elected as a Bencher of the Inner Temple in 1993. In 1998, she became the first woman to chair the Bar Council; and in 2011 she was elected Treasurer of The Inner Temple. She was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2005 and Vice-President of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in 2013. She acted as Coroner at the inquest into the deaths of the 52 victims of the 7 July 2005 bombings. In 2013 she was assessed to be the 8th most powerful woman in Britain by Woman’s Hour on Radio 4. In November 2013 she was appointed Vice-President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal, succeeding Lord Hughes. In 2014 she was appointed by the Secretary of State for Ireland to conduct a review into so-called On the Run letters – messages sent by the British government to fugitive Irish republicans following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, which assured them that they were no longer being sought by UK police forces.

On 14 June 2017 she was made an Honorary Fellow of The Academy of Experts in recognition of her contribution to The Academy's Judicial Committee and work for Expert Witnesses.

Hallett was nominated for a life peerage in the 2019 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours. She was created Baroness Hallett, of Rye in the County of East Sussex, on 11 October 2019.