CILEX on judicial diversity

15 July 2021

CILEX on judicial diversity - Now is the time to open up eligibility criteria to lawyers of all backgrounds

Responding to the publication of the Diversity of the Judiciary 2021 Statistics CILEX Chair, Professor Chris Bones, says: “It is clear from the report that there are still considerable challenges ahead when it comes to increasing diversity in the judiciary, with women and those from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds still underrepresented. 

"In senior judicial roles in particular, white men still predominate. I want to see CILEX being part of the solution. Given more than 73% of CILEX members are female, there is a real opportunity here, but the block on CILEX Lawyers applying for senior judicial appointments is holding talented candidates back. 

"CILEX Lawyers have already proven themselves as effective judges yet in the last year CILEX Lawyers were only able to apply for four out of the 24 judicial selection exercises. 

"CILEX continues to work hard to support and encourage our members in pursuing a career in the judiciary, increasing the number of places available on our Judicial Development Programme. The first full-time CILEX judge, Elizabeth Johnson, was appointed last month, and we know there is a growing ambition and capability amongst members to take a up a judicial career. 

"CILEX members need equality of opportunity. If we truly want to make progress towards a representative judiciary, now is the time to open up the judicial eligibility criteria to lawyers of all backgrounds.”