08 July 2020
CILEx Statement: Black Lives Matter
The killing of George Floyd has caused shock and anger across the world, shining a light on the inequality and racism that continue to impact so many not just in America but also here in the UK.
One of the key messages behind the Black Lives Matter movement is that every one of us needs to reflect on what we can do to tackle discrimination. The legal profession in particular bears a responsibility to ensure all are equal under the law, that everyone in our society has access to justice and that there is no place for racism or prejudice of any kind.
CILEx has one of the most diverse memberships in the legal sector (72% women and 12% BAME) enabled by our learning delivery that creates outstanding legal professionals, but we recognise that we must and want to do more.
Particularly we have reflected that we have a duty to be more assertive on issues about equality, inclusion and diversity and do all we can to locate, challenge and fight discrimination for and with our members.
As such, we commit to the following actions:
- CILEx will consult its membership on an annual basis to hear differing perspectives from all of our members who face discrimination and prejudice in the workplace. In particular, this work will allow us to understand how issues may be disproportionately affecting groups within our membership and to specifically measure the impact of barriers to inclusion affecting our BAME members.
- CILEx will launch an annual scholarship programme aimed at encouraging applications to the CILEx Law School from people who face diversity barriers to achieve their potential, reinforcing our commitment of promoting inclusivity and accessibility to the law wherever and however it presents itself. We will be working with our charity, The CILEx Foundation, to administer this through them.
More information on these two actions will follow in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we encourage all our members to take to heart the call for personal reflection and to put our values into action by not remaining silent in the face of discrimination at work, or in our wider society. In particular, as a professional body of lawyers, we have a duty to combat racism, wherever it raises its ugly head.
Professor Chris Bones, chair of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)