Diversity of the Judiciary 2020: legal professions, new appointments and current post-holders

17 September 2020

Diversity of the Judiciary 2020: legal professions, new appointments and current post-holders

Today marks the publication of the Judicial Diversity Forum’s combined statistical report.  This is the first publication of its kind which brings together data on the diversity of the judiciary, judicial appointments and from the relevant legal professions (solicitors, barristers and Chartered Legal Executives). In doing so it provides a picture not only of the diversity of today’s judiciary, but also of the process by which judges are recruited and the diversity of the pool from which much of the judiciary is drawn – the legal professions.

To read the report please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/diversity-of-the-judiciary-2020-statistics

To read the full common narrative and Judicial Diversity Forum action plan which have been written to accompany the full report please visit https://www.judicialappointments.gov.uk/news/new-combined-statistical-report-gives-insight-diversity-judiciary

Commenting on the publication by the Ministry of Justice of its report: ‘Diversity of the Judiciary 2020; legal professions, new appointments and current post-holders’, Professor Chris Bones, chair of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) says:

Whilst not unexpected, this report continues to demonstrate the scale of the challenge to create a Judiciary that is representative of the society in which we live.   Whilst at the lower end co-ordinated efforts, not least by CILEx to encourage its members to step forward, are showing that change is coming, the senior judiciary continues to be dominated by older white men.
 
The failure of our judiciary to reflect the society it serves has long been a cause for concern. It is hardly surprising given that the whole legal profession has struggled to open itself up to those from different backgrounds and socio-economic groups, especially where it would make the most impact – in senior and visible positions. 

Real change will only come from there being equality of opportunity. CILEx Lawyers have already proven themselves as effective judges.  Given 72% of them are women they could provide the solution to the continuing under representation of women in the judiciary.  12% of CILEx Lawyers come from black and other ethnic minority communities:  they could provide the solution to the continuing under-representation of ethnic minorities in the judiciary. Yet today CILEx Lawyers remain ineligible to apply for 60% of judicial appointments.

The government was elected on a mantra of ‘levelling up’ opportunity in the UK - this isn’t just an economic challenge it is a social one as well. We look forward to a positive and progressive response to this report that opens up competition for judicial roles to Lawyers from all backgrounds, not just from top Universities.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Louise Eckersley, Black Letter Communications on 0203 567 1208  or email:

louise.eckersley@blacklettercommunications.co.uk

Kerry Jack, Black Letter Communications on 07525 756 599 or email:

kerry.jack@blacklettercommunications.co.uk