Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa from Royal Holloway, University of London, three years after her son graduated from the University, with a degree in Economics. The award, which was presented during the Royal Holloway summer graduation ceremonies, was given to Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara for her exceptional contribution to the British justice system.
After coming to England, aged six, following war in Bangladesh, Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara attended state schools and graduated with an LLB (Hons) from LSE. She was called to the Bar in 1990 and practised as a barrister for 24 years.
Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara was the first BAME barrister to be elected to the Family Law Bar Association Committee and she also served on the Bar Council’s Equality and Diversity committee. In 2004 she was appointed as an expert member of the Family Justice Council by the Lord Chancellor. She was appointed as a Circuit Judge in 2014, and presides over both family and criminal cases.
Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara played a key role in the creation of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007, and was appointed by the Lord Chief Justice as a Diversity Community Relations Judge and a Judicial Role Model.
Speaking of her award Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara said: “I am delighted and humbled to have this honour bestowed upon me and I am most grateful to Royal Holloway for recognising me in this way. My elder son graduated from here three years ago and I look forward to a continuing relationship with this very special college”.
Royal Holloway summer graduation ceremonies took place between 9-13 July 2018.