Highest court moves to quell Twitter storm
The UK’s top court has been forced to come to the defence of one of its own, stating that controversial comments made by Lord Sumption regarding female judges “appear to have been misunderstood”.
During an interview given to the Evening Standard yesterday Lord Sumption — who is one of 12 Supreme Court justices — suggested that there would be “appalling consequences for justice” if more women are rushed into the judiciary.
Naturally — as Legal Cheek reported earlier today — it all then kicked off on Twitter, with many legal heavyweights quick to point out just how wrong they thought Sumption’s views were.
Here is an example of a Judge with (apparently) brain power but absolutely no judgement or wisdom… pic.twitter.com/2UbtGF9rJj
— Mukul Chawla QC (@MChawlaQC) September 21, 2015
With comments gaining widespread media coverage, the Supreme Court has moved to clarify where Sumption stands by issuing a statement. In the tweet posted from the court’s official Twitter account it mentions “apparent misunderstandings”:
— UK Supreme Court (@UKSupremeCourt) September 22, 2015
The statement in full reads:
Some of Lord Sumption’s comments appear to have been misunderstood. The full quotes make clear that he believes that increasing diversity at all levels of the profession is important, and that the range of hidden barriers to improving diversity – particularly of the judiciary – present a very complex problem. Nowhere did he try and reduce this to a simple question of ‘lifestyle choice’. The concern he expressed was against introducing any form of positive discrimination to the judicial appointments system without careful analysis of the full range of potential consequences.
Straight to bed with no supper for his Lordship tonight.
Lawyers are furious about Lord Sumption’s claim that more women judges ‘could have appalling consequences for justice’ [Legal Cheek]