It has long been self-evident that gender equality and ethnic diversity in the judiciary need to be improved if it is to reflect the communities it serves. The pool of talent from which the judiciary is drawn is made up largely of members of the Bar, and as such the Bar Council plays a central role in initiatives to improve the gender equality and ethnic diversity of judges.
In 2016-17, the Bar Council secured the go-ahead from the Judicial Diversity Forum (made up of the Judicial Appointments Commission, the Judicial Office, the Ministry of Justice, and Law Society, CILEx and the Bar Council) to take a proposal for pre application judicial education to the next costings stage. Such training, which could be targeted at groups that are under-represented, has the capacity to increase the quality of applications and improve the diversity of appointees.
In addition to the silk and judicial mentoring programme, the Bar Council Equality and Diversity Committee led on providing comment and analysis to the media and other audiences on judicial equality and diversity throughout the year.
The Bar Council also:
- Co-sponsored judicial diversity outreach events in Newcastle in March 2-17 with the Law Society and CILEx, and
- Wrote to the JAC expressing concerns over the impact on diversity of the technological problems and timing (half term) of the current Recorder Competition.
Contact and further information
The Bar Council
289-293 High Holborn