Press Release

First female judge in the International Court of Justice delivers the Annual School of Law Lecture at the University of Reading

Dame Rosalyn Higgins DBE, QC, FBA, made legal history by becoming the first woman to be elected as a judge of the International Court of Justice and was later elected as the President of the Court. Among the prominent cases she had previously argued before the Court was most notably serving as Britain's counsel in the Lockerbie case.

The University of Reading was delighted to welcome international judge Dame Rosalyn Higgins to deliver the School of Law's Annual Lecture on Thursday, 5 March. Sponsored by LexisNexis, leading global provider of legal information, the theme of Dame Rosalyn’s presentation was "Departing Thoughts on the International Court of Justice".

Her illustrious career has taken in the Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Professor of International Law at the University of London and as a Queen's Counsel and Bencher of the Inner Temple, Dame Rosalyn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Reading in 2005.

Professor Patricia Leopold, Head of the School of Law, said: "It was a real pleasure to have someone as distinguished as Dame Rosalyn give our annual lecture. Our staff, students, Reading alumni and the many other interested attendees were very appreciative of the insights she offered into the workings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Dame Rosalyn situated her "Departing Thoughts" talk within the context of a series of questions, such as: Where does the ICJ stand in the UN system? Is the ICJ really the Court of the UN? Are the Court's judgments complied with by Member States? Is the Court doing things as efficiently as it can? In answering these questions, Dame Rosalyn ended on a note of optimism for the future of the Court given its strong composition and the impartiality of its judges."

Tom Laidlaw, Head of Academic Development for LexisNexis, said: "We are delighted to be involved in this noteworthy evening. As education, debate, and the sharing of ideas continues to enable wider thinking in the legal profession, LexisNexis is proud to contribute to these endeavours that promote the conversation further."