Judge quits for being in contempt of court

By Frances Gibb

July 11, 2004

SARAH HARMAN, the solicitor representing the women in the Ayling case, has stepped down as a recorder, a post she has held for ten years, after a High Court judge ruled that she was in contempt of court.

Yesterday she confirmed that she had tendered her resignation to the Lord Chancellor because she had passed sensitive family court papers to her sister, the Solicitor-General Harriet Harman. She said: ³I felt it was
inappropriate for me to remain.²

The papers related to a case in which a mother was found to have deliberately harmed her child. They were passed on to Margaret Hodge, the Childrenıs Minister. The resignation will be seen as a loss among women lawyers, with the Lord Chancellor striving to increase their numbers in all ranks of the judiciary.