Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Right Honourable
 The Baroness Butler-Sloss 

Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner West London
In office
2 March 2007 – June 2007
Succeeded by Lord Justice Baker

Deputy Coroner of the Queen's Household and Assistant Deputy Coroner for Surrey
In office
7 September 2006 – 2 March 2007

In office
1999 – April 2005
Succeeded by Sir Mark Potter

Lord Justice of Appeal
In office

High Court judge, Family Division
In office

Born 10 August 1933 (1933-08-10) (age 76)
Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Birth name Anne Elizabeth Oldfield Havers
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Joseph William Alexander Butler-Sloss
Relations Sir Cecil Havers (father)
Nigel Havers (nephew)
Children Frances, Robert & William
Religion Anglican

Anne Elizabeth Oldfield Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss, GBE, PC (née Havers; born 10 August 1933) is a retired English judge. She was the first female Lord Justice of Appeal and, until 2004, was the highest-ranking female judge in the United Kingdom. Until June 2007, she was responsible, as Deputy Coroner of the Queen's Household, Assistant Deputy Coroner for Surrey and Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner West London for overseeing the inquests into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed. She stood down from that task with effect from that date, and the inquest was conducted by Lord Justice Scott Baker.


Early life

Born as Anne Elizabeth Oldfield Havers in Buckinghamshire to Sir Cecil Havers, a judge she was sister to the late Lord Chancellor, the Lord Havers, and is aunt to his son, actor Nigel Havers. She was educated at Broomfield House School, Kew and Wycombe Abbey School. She then spent a year at the University of Lausanne.[1]

Legal career

She was called to the Bar from the Inner Temple in 1955. In 1958, she married Joseph Butler-Sloss. She was appointed a Registrar at the Principal Registry of the Family Division in 1970. In 1979, she became the fourth woman to be appointed as a High Court judge,[2] after Elizabeth Lane, Rose Heilbron, and Margaret Booth. As were all previous female High Court judges, she was assigned to the Family Division. She was also made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).[3]

In 1988, she became the first woman appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal (judge of the Court of Appeal),[4] having chaired the Cleveland child abuse inquiry in the previous year. In 1999, she became President of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice,[5] the first woman to hold this position and the highest-ranking woman judge in the United Kingdom until Brenda Hale became the first female Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, in January 2004.

She was advanced to the rank of Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in the 2005 New Year Honours.[6] On 12 January 2005, it was announced that she was retiring, being replaced as President of the Family Division by Sir Mark Potter, then a Lord Justice of Appeal.


She is Chairman of the Security Commission. On 3 May 2006, it was announced[7] by the House of Lords Appointments Commission that she would be one of seven new life peers - so-called 'people's peers'. She was created Baroness Butler-Sloss, of Marsh Green in the County of Devon, on 16 June 2006 (dated 13 June 2006). [8] On 4 August 2006 she was appointed to the Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved for a period of five years.[9]

On 7 September 2006 she was appointed as Deputy Coroner of the Queen's Household and Assistant Deputy Coroner for Surrey for the purpose of hearing the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. On 2 March 2007, she was appointed as Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner West London for the purpose of transferring the jurisdiction of the inquest to Inner West London so that the proceedings may sit in the Royal Courts of Justice. On 24 April 2007, she announced she was stepping down in June 2007, saying she lacked the experience required to deal with an inquest with a jury. The role of coroner for the inquests was transferred to Lord Justice Scott Baker. This had been preceded by the overturning by the High Court of her earlier decision to hold the inquest without a jury.[citation needed]

She became Chancellor of the University of the West of England in 1993 and an Honorary Fellow of St. Hilda's College, Oxford, Peterhouse, Cambridge, King's College London, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. She sits on the Selection Panel for Queen's Counsel. In June 2005, she was awarded an honorary degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.[citation needed]

Personal life

She and her husband, Joseph William Alexander Butler-Sloss, have three children[10]:

  • Hon. Frances Ann Josephine Butler-Sloss (now Richmond) (b. 13 October 1959);
  • Hon. Robert Joseph Neville Galmoye Butler-Sloss (b. 15 July 1962);
  • Hon. William Edmund Patchell Minchin Butler-Sloss (b. 21 September 1967

The Baroness Butler-Sloss is a church-going Anglican. In 2002 she chaired the Crown Appointments charged with the selection of a new Archbishop of Canterbury. She is Chairman of the Advisory Council of St Paul's Cathedral.[1]

Famous judgements

  • Re B (Consent to Treatment: Capacity) [2002] EWHC 429


  1. ^ a b "Why I am Still an Anglican", Continuum 2006, p. 48
  2. ^ London Gazette: no. 47968, p. 12354, 2 October 1979. Retrieved on 2008-01-04.
  3. ^ London Gazette: no. 51202, p. 599, 18 January 1980. Retrieved on 2008-01-04.
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 48072, p. 899, 19 January 1988. Retrieved on 2008-01-04.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 55633, p. 10807, 11 October 1999. Retrieved on 2008-01-04.
  6. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57509, p. 7, 31 December 2004. Retrieved on 2008-01-04.
  7. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57972, p. 6055, 3 May 2006. Retrieved on 2008-01-04.
  8. ^ London Gazette: no. 58013, p. 8261, 16 June 2006. Retrieved on 2008-01-04.
  9. ^ London Gazette: no. 58062, p. 10685, 4 August 2006. Retrieved on 2007-11-21.
  10. ^ The Peerage.com website

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Stephen Brown
President of the Family Division
Succeeded by
Sir Mark Potter


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address