The Judicial Diversity Forum (JDF) has published a statistical report that brings together data on the diversity of the judiciary, judicial appointments and from the relevant legal professions (solicitors, barristers and legal executives). In doing so it provides a picture not only of the diversity of today’s judiciary, but also of the process by which judges are recruited and the diversity of the pool from which much of the judiciary is drawn – the legal professions.
Commenting on the report, Dr Helen Phillips, Chair of the Legal Service Board said:
“This is the first time that data on diversity in the judiciary and appointments process has been brought together in this way. While there is clearly scope to develop the coverage and depth of analysis over time, it already helps partners across the justice system and legal sector to better identify the gaps and challenges and increase the pace and degree of progress, something everyone involved agrees is needed.
“The Legal Services Board will use its regulatory oversight role to drive the improvements needed. This will include ensuring the regulatory performance framework enables us to measure regulators’ performance on increasing the diversity of the profession.
“Everyone working in this area must assess the diversity initiatives they have put in place and build on what is working well and rethink schemes that aren’t making a difference. The profession needs to increase its understanding of the barriers to entry and progression, and of the differential impact of disciplinary action on different groups of people. It must also develop a programme of activity to mitigate barriers and put measures in place to evaluate effectiveness.”
You can read more about the report’s findings in the accompanying JDF narrative.
The JDF has also published a summary of the wide range of actions that its members are undertaking, either collectively or individually to help increase judicial diversity.
The Judicial Diversity Forum brings together organisations from across the legal sector, working in partnership to be both thought and action leaders in the area of judicial diversity. The JDF is made up of leaders from the JAC, the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary, The Bar Council, The Law Society, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and the Legal Services Board. You can find out more about the JDF here.