Dame Linda DobbsFollowing a successful career at the Bar, in October 2004, Dame Linda became the first non-white high court judge in the UK, having been appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in 2003. At the Bar she was a member of, and chaired, a number of committees, including the Race Relations, Equal Opportunities, International, Professional Conduct and Professional Standard Committees. In 2003 she became the Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association where she set up its first Equality and Diversity sub-committee. Whilst on the High Court Bench she was the Senior Liaison Judge for Diversity, Chair of the Magisterial Committee of the Judicial Studies Board and Chair of the International Committee of the Judicial College and a Fawcett Commissioner.
Dame Linda is a contributing and consultant editor to a number of legal publications. She has been involved in the training of lawyers and judges both in the UK and internationally for over 20 years.
She has been a journalist for over forty years, starting in the alternative and feminist press of the 1970s and moving on to work for national newspapers, magazines, television and radio (the BBC and independents).
Dame Linda holds 5 honorary doctorates; she is a Fellow of the Judicial College; she was a member of the Court of Governors at the London School of Economics from 2006 – 2015 and chair of its Ethics Policy Committee from 2012 to 2015. She is a patron of a number of charities (including two in Sierra Leone and two in South Africa); she also sits on a number of advisory committees. She is the Interim President of ILFA (International Lawyers for Africa). She has been named in the past as one of Britain’s most powerful black women and one of the 100 Great Black Britons and she has featured regularly in the Power 100 List of Influential Black Britons. She continues to mentor and support many young people from BAME backgrounds.
In 2013 Dame Linda stepped down early from the High Court Bench to pursue her various interests, which includes the training of judges and lawyers internationally (in particular, in the Caribbean and Africa), commercial mediation, Inquiries, needs assessments and advisory work. She also continues to support the charities with which she has connections.