Wednesday 7 December 2022 \


Muslim woman becomes first hijab-wearing judge in UK

Burton upon Trent, England, May 27, 2020

Raffia Arshad, 40, started dreaming of a career in law when she was just 11 – but grew up questioning if there would be ‘people who looked like me’ and if a working-class woman from an ethnic minority background could make it in that world.

Nearly 30 years later, she is not only a successful barrister, but was appointed a Deputy District Judge on the Midlands circuit last week.

Although Raffia is a powerhouse with a 17-year career behind her, she says she still encounters discrimination and prejudice ‘sometimes on a daily basis’.

After training in London, Raffia was called in 2002 and received pupilage in Nottingham, joining St Mary’s Family Law Chambers in 2004.

For the past 15 years, she has practiced in private law children, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and any cases with Islamic law issues, and has become the author of a leading text in Islamic Family Law.


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