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Judiciary won’t be ‘fully representative’ of society until 2149

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120-year wait “unacceptable”, says new Law Society president

New research by the Law Society suggests that it will take more than 120 years for the judiciary to be fully representative of the current population in England and Wales.

The delay lies in the slow increase in the proportion of black judges which has grown from just 1.02% in 2014 to 1.09% this year, according to MoJ statistics. There are currently no black judges sitting in the Court of Appeal or the High Court.

Lubna Shuja, president of the Law Society, said: “At that rate, it would take until 2149 for the proportion of the judiciary who are Black to match current estimates for the general population (3.5%).”

She added that “as we near the end of Black History Month, which this year focuses on ‘action, not words,’ it is unacceptable that Law Society research has found it could take over 120 years for women, Black and Asian people to represent the society they serve on the bench.”

Progress has been faster for female and Asian representation amongst the judiciary. Just under a quarter of judges in England and Wales were women whilst 2.5% were Asian in 2014, numbers that have now risen to 35.4% and 4.8% respectively.

On these trends, the judiciary will reflect the proportions of these groups in society with half of all judges being female in 10 years’ time and Asians making up 8% of judges by 2033.

Shuja, who is the first Asian and Muslim president of the Law Society, said:

“We need a judiciary that truly reflects our diverse society. We must take action and make real, lasting change so our judges can represent the people who come before them in court. We urge the UK government to address the structural barriers that are holding back talented candidates.”

She added: “We know that progress does not happen overnight, but we cannot wait over 120 years for women, Asian and Black judges to be fully representative on our court benches.”

The Law Society has produced a report into diversity and the judiciary which can be viewed here.

17 Comments

FFS

120 years??? Bloody heck, that’s depressing.

Chambers giving a Black student a BPTC scholarship is pretty much a drop in the ocean compared to the work that needs to be done here.

(12)(7)

Evidence driven

Not really depressing at all, the dataset used for this is meaningless.

(5)(2)

We are all agreed

I’m sure we all would prefer judges appointed to drive quotas rather than on their ability to be a good judge.

(31)(10)

Alan

Precisely.

(7)(2)

Hmmmm

You do know that those two things aren’t mutually exclusive and that ethnic minorities can make fantastic judges too, don’t you?

(12)(8)

Response to hmmmm

Your loaded question missed the point entirely, and I don’t understand how you have inferred what are you implying from the above comment.

(14)(4)

Don’t Understand Why It Takes 120 Years Either

Ethnic minority judges don’t need ‘quotas’ to be fully suitable for the job.

(7)(2)

Yeah

People good enough for the job do not need quotas or preferential treatment.

Really?

Oh yes, because every white man ever appointed has definitely been the best candidate for the job.

(5)(7)

Jarrod

More needs to be done.

(3)(6)

Anon

Look at the age and education background of the current judges and compare it to ethnic breakdown. The white population is a far higher percentage in that group than in society as a whole.

So what is indirectly being proposed is to replace older white judges with younger non white ones.

(7)(1)

Dunc

Diversity quotas don’t work, will never work and are counterproductive because you end up promoting less-skilled candidates and excluding talented candidates purely on arbitrary factors like race and not merit…

(9)(4)

OMG

Why the fixation on recruitment quotas when this concept doesn’t in fact exist in the UK????

We don’t have ‘affirmative action’, as some recruiters in the USA do. We don’t appoint the judiciary based on choosing a fixed number of places for White candidates and for ethnic minority candidates. There are no ‘quotas’ for TC/pupillage places either.

It’s incredible that people seriously believe legal recruiters use quotas, with absolutely zero evidence.

(5)(7)

OMG @ OMG

Come into the real world OMG, percentages as a per se measure of diversity = practical quotas and discriminatory decisions on appointments.

(4)(2)

Alonia

I think the only reasonable thing to do is for every sector to stop employing white men at all until the sector in question is representative.

Simple.

(3)(0)

Arthur

The wokists are so deluded that they probably do not understand that your comment was sarcastic.

(3)(0)

B Lox

Tired of this dull bollocks. People good enough for jobs and appointments get them.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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