For the first time in the UK, a female court judge has been appointed who wears the hijab. She hopes to play the role of ‘Mashal Rah’.
Rafia Arshad is a member of St. Mary’s Chambers in Nottingham. He was appointed a judge in the Midlands Circuit last week.
“I see it as more than just an individual achievement,” says Rafia, 40.
The joint heads of St. Mary’s Chambers say the move paves the way for success for Muslim women in the field of law.
Judge Rafia Arshad said: “I almost feel I have nothing to do with it. It’s about whether I can impress them, regardless of their background. “
“It has taken some time to get here but I am very happy. This is not just an individual achievement. It’s a success for everyone who comes from a different background. “
Judge Rafia Arshad was the first person in her family to attend college. He says he rejects misconceptions in society, as most people think judges will look in a certain way. She says she wants to encourage people to “keep their intentions high” regardless of the sector.
‘Don’t worry about how you look. Don’t worry about whether you will fit into the existing structure. Reject this structure and do what you really want to do.
She has three children and has been a family law lawyer for over 17 years. She says she is indebted to her husband, who “supported her immensely” and “gave her the opportunity to pursue her passion.”
Judge Rafia Arshad is an expert in Islamic family law. He said that the courts and the commission of appointment were working to the best of their ability but the judicial system lacked people from different backgrounds.
The heads of St. Mary’s Chambers, Vicky Hodges and Judy Clexton, have said they are happy with the appointment, which is in line with merit, and that Rafia Arshad was a deserving candidate.