Urgent action needed on judicial diversity

Robin Allen QC, Chair of the Bar Council’s Equality and Diversity Committee, commented on the publication this week of the 2017 Judicial Diversity Statistics

He said: “The progress made in recruiting more female judges is to be welcomed; but there is an urgent need to increase the number of part-time salaried posts which offer a useful combination of certainty and flexibility for the large number of lawyers with caring responsibilities.  Likewise the progress in recruiting Asian High Court judges is important.

“On the other hand the lack of progress in recruiting any Black British judges to the High Court and more senior courts, and only a very tiny percentage in the Crown Court, is unrepresentative of diverse modern Britain.  If this is not put right soon it will undermine the trust in the principle of equality before and under the law. Urgent action is needed.

“The Bar Council is working with the Judicial Diversity Forum to promote new schemes of positive action which could help to change this. The Lord Chancellor is urged to adopt and promote them.”


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