Ruth Deech was the first Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education 2004-8. She was Principal of St. Anne's College from 1991 to 2004 and former Fellow and Tutor in Law of that college, specialising in Family and Property Law. Hon. LLD Strathclyde University.

From 1994-2002 she was Chairman of the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, established by legislation in 1990 to consider ethical questions arising from advances in reproductive medicine, and to regulate research and treatment of infertility. She wrote a report Women Doctors:Making a Difference for the DH in 2009.

She was a member of the Committee of Inquiry into Equal Opportunities on the Bar Vocational Course 1993-4, and chair of the Bar Standards Board 2009-14.

She was a Governor of the BBC from 2002-6, a Rhodes Trustee 1996-06, and is a Bencher of the Inner Temple. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Family Law, a member of the Editorial Board of Child and Family Law Quarterly, an Honorary Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies and an Honorary Member of the SLS. In 2005 she was appointed a Crossbench Peer and chaired the Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability.


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  • R Deech and Anna Smajdor, From IVF to Immortality: Controversy in the Era of Reproductive Technology (OUP 2007)
    ISBN: 978-0199219797
  • R Deech, 'The HFEA 10 years on' in Gunning and Szoke (eds), The Regulation of ART (Ashworth 2003)
    ISBN: 07546 22924
  • R Deech, M-T Meulders-Klein and P. Vlaardingerbroek, Biomedicine, the Family & Human Rights (1 Kluwer 2002)
    Papers given at the International Society of Family Conference on this theme, 1999, Oxford
    ISBN: 90-411-1627-3
  • R Deech, 'Progress with Confidence in Assisted Reproductive Techniques' (2002) 12 Journal of Japan Association for Bioethics 193
    A survey of regulation of reproductive medicine

Research Interests

Regulation of Lawyers, Family Law, Ethics and Infertility

Research projects