It was an “absolute scandal” that only 1% of the judges were black, said the Shadow Lord Chancellor after figures that showed a decrease in the number of lawyers at the bank.
Overall, 55% of the judges are white men and 35% are white women. Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority (BAME) men and women each make up 5%, according to judicial diversity statistics released yesterday by the Judicial Diversity Forum.
This was because the proportion of Asian and mixed ethnic judges has increased to 5% and 2%, respectively, since 2014, while it has remained at 1% for black lawyers.
Statistics showed that in the three years to the 1st white people, 73% among black lawyers.
The percentage of ethnic minorities in senior court positions remains lower – 4% for the high court and above – compared to others.
The proportion of women in the bank continues to increase – 34% of court judges and half of the judges in the tribunal – but remains lower after the High Court (29%).
The representation of lawyers decreased during the judicial selection process, according to the statistics. Those who served as lawyers when applying made up 28% of the requests but only 15% of the nomination recommendations.
Overall, 32% of court judges and 64% of tribunal judges were non-lawyers, mostly lawyers, but only 5% in the High Court and above.
In both courts and courts, the proportion of non-lawyers has decreased compared to 2014.
The research looked at the intersection of different characteristics – for example, female lawyers were the largest gender professional group to apply, but the smallest to be successful.
BAME attorneys have lower referral rates than white attorneys but were more likely to have been successful than BAME attorneys.
Except for white female lawyers, all other gender-specific professions have lower referral rates than white lawyers
A comment published with the results stated that the difference in referral rates between white and non-white lawyers was “statistically significant, which means that we can be sure that there are real differences between ethnic groups in terms of rates of progression up to and including Justice gives ”.
It added: “These results show the importance of taking a closer look at ethnicity, as the experiences of different ethnic groups are not the same within the ethnic categorization of blacks, Asians and minorities. Just looking at the broader group can mask the underlying disparities. “
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, said: “While there has been some progress, there is clearly more work to be done and the judiciary is determined to do our part.”
He referred to the Justice Diversity and Inclusion Strategy published last year, which aims to improve the personal and professional diversity of justice at all levels over the next five years.
“The Senior President of Tribunals and I stand by and affirm that goal. Later in the year we will report on the measurable work we have already done to support the strategy. “
But David Lammy, the Shadow Lord Chancellor, said: “The Judicial Appointments Commission is playing a good game when it comes to improving diversity, but in the end their words have proven hollow.
“It is an absolute scandal that the number of black judges, who still only make up 1% of the judiciary, has absolutely not increased after almost a decade.
“It is important that our justice system reflects the modern society we live in, and the JAC fails in that regard.”
Law Society President Stephanie Boyce said she was concerned about numbers including “overall stagnation and the percentage of lawyers leaving the judiciary”.
“As members of the Judicial Diversity Forum, we welcome the shared commitment to create an action plan to address the clear issues of representation at the bank.
“This report has highlighted the need for urgent steps, and the priority now is to determine what steps they should be.”
Professor Chris Bones, the chairman of CILEX, emphasized the need to give CILEX attorneys the opportunity to apply for more judicial offices – 73% of CILEX members are female.
Last year, CILEX attorneys could only apply for four of the 24 judicial competitions, although Elizabeth Johnson became the first full-time CILEX judge at the district court level last month.
“We know that there is growing ambition and ability among members to pursue a legal career,” said Professor Bones.
“CILEX members need equal opportunities. If we really want to make progress towards a representative judiciary, now is the time to open the judicial admission criteria to lawyers of all backgrounds. “
Dr. Helen Phillips, Chair of the Legal Services Board, highlighted the need to improve the diversity of the legal profession. “We need to use the data to focus our efforts on initiatives that work and make a real difference.
“Everyone in the industry has a role to play. As the supervisory authority for legal services, we will ensure that regulation plays its role to the full – for example by supporting tough action against integrative misconduct and cultures, by requiring the identification of barriers to advancement within the professions and how to deal with them and still requiring a urge appropriate assessment of the interventions. “
Attorney Council Chairman Derek Sweeting QC added, “This data should help us take action to improve diversity in the judiciary … Until we understand if there is a problem in the appointment process or if it is experience – or…” both – we are active the darkness. “
He drew attention to the work of the Bar Association, including “a major project” to support a fairer division of labor.
“We strongly believe that fairer access to quality work will support both the retention and development of underrepresented groups.
“From the perspective of the judges’ career, this work must be followed by a closer look at the recruitment and support of judges in taking on higher positions in the judiciary if efforts to diversify the legal professions are to be reflected in the legal setting at all” levels. “