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Same old story | The Solicitors’ Journal – 4 June 1999

Neatly timed to coincide with the Chelsea Flower show, another hardy perennial has reappeared: the composition of the judiciary.

13 June 2016

Yet again, research has revealed that it is primarily composed of white, middle-aged, middle-class, public school and Oxbridge educated male barristers. All that is different this time is that recent appointments under Labour have not done anything to redress the balance, save in the matter of age.

These statistics do not come as any surprise. It is true that the Lord Chancellor has taken steps to improve the situation. Judicial posts are now advertised, and women and members of ethnic minorities have been encouraged to seek appointment. But all this is merely tinkering with the system, when what is needed is a complete overhaul.

As we have frequently pointed out, the present appointments system, relying heavily as it does on informal, secret soundings, naturally perpetuates the status quo as like chooses like.

If the government genuinely wishes to broaden the make-up of the judiciary, it must create a new, open system and fulfi...

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