22 July 2021
Buckland looks to CILEX for a more diverse judiciary
The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Robert Buckland, QC has today told the CILEX (the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) AGM that its lawyers are some of the most impressive lawyers he has seen, and that the country needs more judges like them.
Mr Buckland told the AGM: “The CILEX route to becoming a lawyer is incredibly effective in creating a diverse pool of practitioners with a range of backgrounds and experiences. The practical skills that you have learned on the road to qualification make you some of the most impressive lawyers that I have seen on the circuit. The justice system is far richer with you in it.”
As a former part-time judge, he recognised the growing ambition from CILEX members to join the judiciary and said: “I want to see more judges from a CILEX background, bringing a range of professional backgrounds which will be invaluable in boosting our world-renowned judiciary…This country needs judges like you.”
Robert Buckland also committed to continuing to work with CILEX on the legal barriers its practitioners face, such as the restrictions on certifying copies of powers of attorney and from working as Crown Prosecutors.
A former CILEX lecturer in Wales during the early 1990s, Mr Buckland recognised the range of backgrounds of CILEX members and said its new qualification, CPQ, “…gives an improved route of entry into the legal profession. This means a broader representation in the sector – supporting our aims to increase social mobility by providing a flexible pathway to becoming a lawyer.
“One of the strengths of our legal system over the centuries has been its ability to evolve and change to meet the needs of the people it represents. We know that the legal system of tomorrow is going to look very different and it is imperative that we keep pace with that change.
“I am pleased to see that it will include modules on legal technology, business skills, and emotional intelligence to keep pace with a changing sector.”
Prior to introducing Mr Buckland, CILEX Chair, Chris Bones said: “From the moment of his appointment, it was clear to us that Robert Buckland understood both the role that specialist lawyers now play in legal services and that in CILEX he has a legal talent pool far more diverse and far closer to the general population than that of the other two professional bodies.
“Whilst the two other professional bodies continue to train and qualify generalist lawyers who then have to learn a specialism – often to the cost of their clients who pay fees that reflect the cost of their continued education as well as their time – CILEX stands out as qualifying specialist lawyers.
“The new CPQ cements this, along with building wider skills such as communications and digital technology seen as essential by today’s employers.
“We are producing lawyers better fit for today and the future, yet they continue to face barriers to being able to practice to the full benefit of their clients.”
He promised members that CILEX will be meeting the Lord Chancellor again soon and will continue to follow-up on the need for legislative change to support the establishment of a genuine level playing field for CILEX Lawyers: “On the legal barriers we are now working in some detail on ways to get these addressed. And where legislation is required, how space can be found in what is a challenging legislative environment thanks to the pandemic.”
For further information, please contact:
Louise Eckersley, Black Letter Communications on 0203 567 1208
Kerry Jack, Black Letter Communications on 07525 756 599