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Research: England and Wales has one of the most male-dominated judiciaries in Europe

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But our Supreme Court judges are among the best paid

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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.

Read the full report here:

16 Comments

Anonymous

In the interests of equality, do people like Katie complain of female dominance considering that 51% of European judges are female? It should be exactly 50/50, surely?

Oh, wait, I forgot that feminism isn’t about equality, it’s about revenge for actual and perceived wrongs by men against women in the past.

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SB

This is a joke right?

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Anonymous

You, sir, are a twatbag.

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Not Amused

We’ve known this for years. The difference comes because of the way we appoint judges.

We appoint judges at the *end* of their legal career. So both 1) more lawyers are men at that time and 2) the changes in demographics in recent decades have not filtered through.

The Europeans appoint judges straight from law school. So it’s much easier to achieve parity. (It also means their judges are frankly less good and is the reason their jurisdictions are not jurisdictions of choice in litigation).

But the point is superficial. You need to research the percentages of SENIOR judges in the European countries if you want a comparator. I think even our stats improve if we include magistrates and parking adjudicaotors. The Europeans lump all these people in as ‘judges’ for a superficial diversity.

An all male Supremes and 50 million women parking adjudicators is not the diversity that I am after!

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Anonymous

Agree with the jurisdiction point – there is a reason that the law, and the courts, of England and Wales are so well respected throughout the world.

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Anonymous

Out of interest, would you be bothered if our judiciary consisted of 70% women and 30% men. I wouldn’t (I’m male), but I don’t clamour for diversity.

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Anonymous

I genuinely don’t care for the sex, race, religion etc… of the Judge I appear before, what I want is someone that has the requisite understanding of the law, and hears my submissions and comes to a fair and just conclusion (obviously I prefer it when that conclusion is the one I am seeking).

Nothing irritates me more than sensationalistic and headline grabbing statistics and headlines that do nothing to advance the profession.

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Just Anonymous

So we have a male dominated judiciary.

Why is this a problem?

Lord Neuberger has argued (forgive me but I can’t remember where) as follows: Men and women are equally talented. (I agree.) Thus, if there are more men than women as judges, that must mean, as a statistical reality, that there exist in the population women who can do the job better than some of the men currently doing it. Thus we haven’t got the best people doing the job.

From a purely social perspective, his Lordship has a point. However, this doesn’t imply any unfairness, or sexism. To be unfair/sexist we must consider the subset of the population who are not only qualified to do the job – but who also want to do the job.

That’s the crucial point. If more men want to do the job (because for example they’re more willing to accept a work dominated work/life balance) such a split is exactly what we should expect to see.

Now, do men and women want to do these jobs in equal proportions? I don’t know, but this point needs investigating. We can’t just assume they’re equal.

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Anonymous

“Lord Neuberger has argued (forgive me but I can’t remember where) as follows: Men and women are equally talented. (I agree.) Thus, if there are more men than women as judges, that must mean, as a statistical reality, that there exist in the population women who can do the job better than some of the men currently doing it.”

Nope. That inference is completely and utterly groundless.

If there are only two trained mechanics in existence on the planet, and they both happen to be male, that doesn’t automatically mean there must somehow magically be two women (despite not being trained) who are equally good at the role.

How you came up with that sort of hypothesis is beyond me…

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Just Anonymous

“How you came up with that sort of hypothesis is beyond me.”

Well, I didn’t. Lord Neuberger did. It’s his argument. I was reporting it. Learn to read! I would say that with appropriate legal training, men and women are on average equally talented. I don’t see how that undermines the argument at all. (Of course, I continue to consider it undermined by the choice issue I raised!)

That said, you confuse the issue by bringing training into it.

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Just Anonymous

Whoops, various paragraphs ended up being in the wrong order there. Apologies for any confusion!

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Anonymous

Bye bye EU

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Not Amused

These arguments are fatuous. There aren’t only 12 brilliant candidates to be JSCs. There are somewhere between 60 to 100 brilliant candidates to be JSCs.

So trying to pretend we can’t find 6 women in order to symbolically end a historical deficit in justice is simply nonsense.

Indeed anyone who proposes that the current 12 are the best from the candidate pool is to be treated with caution.

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Trumpenkrieg

Perhaps if more women were putting their law degrees to proper use in practice instead of regurgitating facile talking points for clicks like you are, there would be more successful female lawyers and therefore more female judges.

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She's off on one again.

Oh dear.

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The Equality and Diversity Commission

DASS SEXISS!!!!!!!!

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