Dr Victoria McCloud sits in London as a judge, as a Queen's Bench Master in the High Court where she manages a wide range of High Court civil cases ranging from defamation to historic child abuse. She is passionate about equality and diversity and was responsible for the seminal case of McCloud and others vs The Ministry of Justice and the Lord Chancellor, establishing the rights of Judges as well as other public sector workers to equal treatment in pension provision irrespective of age, race and gender. She actively promotes diversity at unversity and in the law, having previously served for many years on the Bar Council Equality and Diversity Committee and serves on the Law Faculty Athena SWAN committee in relation to the content of web materials relating to the Faculty. In August 2018 she presented the second Annual Belfast Pride Law lecture at Queen's University Belfast: Rainbow Lives, Monochrome Laws – Reflections on law and identity. See also an interview with her at this link.
She has always rather split her life between judicial and academic and writing work and has a high output in both fields. She was appointed in 2006 (part time) and then as a full time judge in 2010 having practised as a barrister for 15 years before that in general civil practice. She has experience of managing and hearing serious civil cases such as Historic Abuse cases, Mesothelioma-related death claims, severe personal injury work and others. Some of her judgments appear below. Her psychologically-informed ideas in relation to changing the procedural management of Historic Child Abuse cases have been described in the context of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) as being innovative. In 2018 Victoria was honoured (but very surprised) to be chosen by the 'First 100 Years' project to be one of the 100 role model women in the legal field spanning the first century since women were permitted to practise law in the UK, whose lives are preserved biographically at the British Library for future generations.
Victoria is currently working towards a second D.Phil, at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, and at Green Templeton College, on the socio-legal aspects of social media in the context of elections, applying an Actor-Network Theory approach to studying the ways in which messaging may affect how people identify on-line using symbols and 'digital totems'.
Victoria's first D.Phil. (1993) was funded by the Oxford University Christopher Welch Scholarship in Biological Sciences and was obtained by research in Experimental Psychology in human visual psychophysics, which focussed on the computational means by which the brain integrates sources of depth information received via the visual system. Her first degree was obtained in 1990 from Oxford University, in Experimental Psychology, including an undergraduate research project on human cell model neural networks.
Legal & Judicial
Victoria holds a postgraduate Diploma in Law from City University and qualified as a barrister in 1995. She practised as a barrister from 1995 until her judicial appointment in 2010. She was appointed as a deputy Costs Judge in 2006 & then as a Master of the Queen’s Bench Division in 2010, as the second female QB Master. In 2017 she was additionally re-appointed as a Deputy Costs Judge in which cacapity she served until 2020. In 2015 she recieved judicial training at the Hague Institute for Global Justice, on the Prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity, & War Crimes.
Surveillance, Intelligence, Privacy, Cyberwarfare and Security
She has a technolgical slant in much of what she does. Her books include 'The Surveillance & Intelligence Law Handbook' (OUP). See also ‘Suing in Cyberspace’ in ‘Publications’, and she has also acted as an expert witness to Parliament about the impact of surveillance on society, in 2007. She is an Associate Member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) and a Member of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). She received Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) training on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in 2005.
University and professional involvement:
Interview, podcast and other web material:Queen's University Belfast Podcast Interview 2017First 100 Years project, interviewWikipedia entry
Selected publications:‘Judicial Early Neutral Evaluation’ (2020) in Amicus Curiae, Series 2, Vol 1, No 3, 497-510.'Rainbow Lives, Monochrome Laws' (2018) Second Annual Queen's Belfast Pride Law Lecture.'Suing in Cyberspace', (2017) 36
Selected judgments (as judge):
In Re W, F, C and D (minors) (name changes disclosing gender reassignment and other matters),  EWHC 279 (QB), Children's rights to privacy in relation to the publication of name changes after gender reassignment.
Telecom Centre (UK) Ltd v Thomas Sanderson Ltd  EWHC 368 (QB) - Judgment on the principles and practice of Judicial Early Neutral Evaulation in Civil claims in the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court.
Gannon and Warsama vs Sasha Wass QC, The Wass Inquiry and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office  EWHC 1461 (QB) claim in relation to the British Oversea Territory of St Helena “Wass” inquiry into alleged systematic child abuse. Issues which Victoria had to decide included in particular (1) the exact scope of the constitutional doctrine of Parliamentary Privilege under the Bill of Rights 1689, Article 9, and (2) the question whether a QC acting as the Tribunal head can be sued under the Human Rights Act 1998 as a limb of the State.
Dring vs Cape Asbestos  EWHC 3154, first instance judgment holding that in principle the common law permits public access to court documents ant not solely those permitted expressly by court rules. Reversed by the Court of Appeal but affirmed on that point at Supreme Court level.
Ajayi v Abu and Abu  EWHC 1946 (QB), judgment on liability for human trafficking and modern slavery/labour exploitation.
Woodburn v Thomas  EWHC B16 (Costs), judgment as to best practice in drafting bills in cost budgeted cases.
Caretech Community Services Ltd v Oakden & Ors  EWHC 1944 (QB), judgment on correct approach to issues as to validity of service of court claims.
Jones v Chichester Harbour Conservancy & Ors  EWHC 2270 (QB), judgment on correct approach to issues as to validity of service of court claims.
Nadhim Zahawi MP v Press TV & Press TV Limited  EWHC 695 (QB), claim against Iranian State media in respect of ‘fake news’ on the internet.
Michael Foster v Iain McNicol, (Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP applying)  EWHC 1836 (QB), decision to permit the Leader of the Opposition to joined to be heard in argument over the interpretation of Labour Party election rules.
Malik v Donald Trump  EWHC 2011 (QB), judgment in relation to right of a Muslim man to sue for defamation in respect of statements made by Mr Donald Trump in the course of the US election campaign 2016 about Muslims in London.
Yates v Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs  EWHC 2311 (QB). High Court procedure for HMRC to disclose employment histories in asbestos claims.
Andrew Mitchell MP v Express Group Newspapers  EWHC 2355 (QB) Principles of relief from sanctions, and costs budgeting in civil cases.
Regulation of Autonomous/Artificially Intelligent Technologies with the power to affect human welfare.
Impact of Court procedure on victims of historic child abuse.
Ethical Business Regulation.
Future of Humanity.
News articles for Victoria McCloud
How much is it the responsibility of the LGBT+ community globally to ensure that all voices of minority/oppressed groups are heard?
New appointment for Master Victoria McCloud
Judicial Early Neutral Evaluation
e-Disclosure and the Pilot Scheme: Judicial, Practitioner, and Technology Perspectives
Online Courts and the Transformation of Litigation
Dr Victoria McCloud judges at the LSE-Featherstone Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Moot
Celebrating 40 years of women at Christ Church
The Future of Legal Practice
Gender Equality in the Legal Profession: Maintaining the momentum for change
Judicial Diversity: Should LGBT+ representation matter?
CSLS postgraduate featured at 'First 100 Years’ commemoration of Women Lawyers