Dame Victoria Sharp sworn in as first woman head of criminal justice in England

The first woman to be appointed as the most senior criminal judge in England and Wales has been officially sworn in.

Dame Victoria Sharp (pictured) has become President of the Queen’s Bench Division following the retirement of Sir Brian Leveson last week.

At a ceremony for Dame Victoria’s swearing in at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett welcomed her into her new role, which he described as “one of the biggest jobs in the law”.

Lord Burnett added: “The role requires energy, leadership and vision, all of which Dame Victoria has in abundance.

“In Dame Victoria Sharp we have a President of the Queen’s Bench Division superbly qualified to discharge all the obligations of her office and who will bring wisdom, insight and, if I may say so, a sense of fun to her new role.”

Christina Blacklaws, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, told Dame Victoria: “I really want to commend you as the first woman to hold this esteemed position.”

Describing Dame Victoria as “an amazing trailblazer”, Ms Blacklaws added: “Whilst soon I hope there will be no more firsts for women to reach in the legal profession, this should not take away from the need to celebrate each and every time it happens.”

Dame Victoria Sharp read law at Bristol University, was called to the Bar in 1979 and became a QC in 2001.

She was appointed a High Court judge in 2009 and was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2013.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Sam Tobin / PA Wire.