International Women’s Week: Lady Hazel Cosgrove

Throughout her professional career, Lady Cosgrove has championed values that are central to the ethos of both the QMU and the University of Glasgow, such as championing women’s equality and working to improve mental health provision in Scotland.

To round up these blogs on International Women’s Week, the QMU would like to tell you more about one of our most distinguished Life Members – the Right Honourable Lady Hazel Cosgrove CBE. Lady Cosgrove is a semi-retired judge (semi-retired because from time to time she still sits in court when there is a shortage of available judges). She was the first woman ever appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland in 1996. She served as a judge in the Court of Session – Scotland’s highest civil court – until 2006 after being appointed as a permanent judge in 2003. As well as being an esteemed judge, Lady Cosgrove was the Chair of the Mental Welfare Commission between 1991 and 1996, and Chair of the Expert Panel on Sex Offending from 1997 to 2001. Throughout her professional career, she has championed values that are central to the ethos of both the QMU and the University of Glasgow, such as championing women’s equality and working to improve mental health provision in Scotland. When she became the first woman to be appointed to the Sheriff Court Bench in Glasgow, she said “It is a tremendous challenge and I hope that it will be a great source of encouragement to women throughout the [legal] profession.”

When asked about her time at the University of Glasgow, Lady Cosgrove said:

“I matriculated in the Law Faculty in 1963. There were only 10 female students in a class of about 110. I was, of course, a member of the QMU which was the female union in those days of single sex unions. Although I was never an office bearer, I have very happy memories of the QMU as the place female students went to on a daily basis to relax and unwind and meet with friends. We enjoyed many social events and valued it very much as a very convenient and welcoming space. The cafeteria was open to male students and my then boyfriend, and now husband, often came to join our group for lunch. The QMU was an important part of my daily life at Gilmorehill.
The Law Faculty in those days was in a building in Hillhead Street. The teaching from many distinguished and learned jurists, including in particular, Professors Tony Thomas, Sandy Anton, David Walker and Jack Halliday was excellent and provided a very firm foundation for a career in Scots law.”

Lady Cosgrove is a candidate in the upcoming Rector elections. You can find more information about all nominated candidates on the Rector Elections page. Hustings for all candidates will take place on March 16th, with polling on the 20th and 21st. All current students are eligible to vote and are encouraged to do so.

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