The College of Law was honored to host Baroness Ruth Deech of the House of Lords on September 16, 2019. Baroness Deech delivered a talk on the human welfare implications of Brexit, and she was also presented with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award in Family Law by the Family Law and Policy Program.
In addition to recognizing scholarly contributions to society’s understanding of the family and family law, the award honors those who have impacted the contours of the law.
Ruth Deech was the first Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education 2004-8. She was Principal of St. Anne's College from 1991 to 2004 and former Fellow and Tutor in Law of that college, specialising in Family and Property Law. Hon. LLD Strathclyde University.
From 1994-2002 she was Chairman of the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, established by legislation in 1990 to consider ethical questions arising from advances in reproductive medicine, and to regulate research and treatment of infertility. She wrote a report Women Doctors: Making a Difference for the DH in 2009.
She was a member of the Committee of Inquiry into Equal Opportunities on the Bar Vocational Course 1993-4, and chair of the Bar Standards Board 2009-14.
She was a Governor of the BBC from 2002-6, a Rhodes Trustee 1996-06, and is a Bencher of the Inner Temple. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Family Law, a member of the Editorial Board of Child and Family Law Quarterly, an Honorary Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies and an Honorary Member of the SLS. In 2005 she was appointed a Crossbench Peer and chaired the Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability.
Her work across decades has made her the leading scholar on reproductive access, through books such as From IVF to Immortality: Controversy in the Era of Reproductive Technology.
Baroness Deech joins an impressive list of past winners, not least of which is the late Harry Krause, Max L. Rowe Professor Emeritus, for whom the award was named.