But our Supreme Court judges are among the best paid
The English and Welsh judiciary has one of the lowest percentages of females in the whole of Europe.
Given that only 30% of English and Welsh professional judges are women, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice report shows we fall far short of the 51% average.
Covering all 47 Council of Europe member states bar Liechtenstein and San Marino, the new research puts us fifth from bottom in the Europe-wide gender diversity league table. Only Azerbaijan (11%), Armenia (23%), Northern Ireland (23%) and Scotland (23%) have a lower percentage of female professional judges.
By way of comparison with other Western European countries, 52% of judges in Italy are female, as are 52% in Spain and 62% in France. To give you a flavour of the countries at the other end of the spectrum: 70% of Croatian, 72% of Greek, 77% of Latvian and 78% of Slovenian judges are women.
Other key findings from the report include the revelation that our Supreme Court judges are among the best paid in Europe.
In England and Wales, Supreme Court judges are paid 7.7 times the national average. Though Supreme Court judges in, for example, Ukraine are paid comparatively higher than this (8.5 times the national average), the English and Welsh figures tower over the likes of Germany (2.4), Belgium (2.9), Norway (3.3) and Sweden (3.2), plus the Europe-wide average of 4.5.
They may be well-paid but there aren’t that many of them overall in proportion to our population: England and Wales have only three judges for every 100,000 inhabitants compared with the average across Europe of 21.