The Right Honourable Lady Justice Arden DBE was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1971, and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1986. She is a graduate of Cambridge and Harvard, and holds several honorary degrees. She was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales in 1993, being the first woman judge to be assigned to the Chancery Division.
From 1 January 1996 to 31 January 1999 she was the chair of the Law Commission of England and Wales. In 2000 she acted as an ad hoc judge of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
In 2000 she was appointed a Lady Justice of Appeal. She has sat on cases on a wide range of subjects, including human rights, constitutional law, asylum, Community law, housing, VAT, tax and directors’ duties.
Lady Justice Arden is also a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Lady Justice Arden was a member of the Steering Group of the Company Law Review established by the Department of Trade and Industry from 1998 to 2001. The Review’s final report led to the Companies Act 2006, the longest statute ever passed by the British Parliament. She was the chair of the Papers Committee for the Commonwealth Law Conference held in London in September 2005.
From 2004 to 2006 Lady Justice Arden was chair of the Judges’ Council Working Party on Constitutional Reform which was heavily involved in the draft legislation which became the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and the Judicial Discipline (Prescribed Procedures) Regulations 2006.
Lady Justice Arden is Head of International Judicial Relations for England and Wales. She has travelled extensively to help promote the rule of law and to further her personal interest in meeting judges in other jurisdictions and in comparative human rights and constitutional law.
Lady Justice Arden has given numerous lectures, and written articles and books (or contributions to books) on human rights, company law, terrorism and other subjects. In 2015, she published a book entitled ‘Human Rights and European Law: Building New Legal Orders’ published by Oxford University Press.