The official figures published today by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) demonstrates clearly the scale of the challenge that continues to face society in creating a diverse and inclusive judiciary.
Commenting on the report, Dr Helen Phillips, Chair of the Legal Services Board (LSB), said:
“This is the second time data on diversity in the Judiciary and the judicial selection process has been brought together in this way, and it gives us a richer picture of the gaps and challenges that we all need to address. Data is not an end in itself, however. To see a step-change in the diversity of the legal professions – the pool from which the judiciary is drawn – we must use the data to focus our efforts on initiatives that work and make a real difference.
“Everyone across the sector has a role to play. As the oversight regulator for legal services, we will make sure regulation plays its part in full – for example by supporting tough action on anti-inclusive misconduct and cultures, by requiring the identification of barriers to progression within the professions and dealing with them, and continuing to push for proper evaluation of interventions.”
The LSB supports the Judicial Diversity Forum’s (JDF) commitment to further evaluation to understand better what is influencing the makeup of the Judiciary and what interventions will encourage a more diverse judiciary and legal services profession. This echoes the findings of the Bridge Group report into diversity across the legal sector, commissioned by the LSB in May this year that legal regulators should use the data they collect about the professionals they regulate to inform and evaluate their diversity and inclusion initiatives.
The LSB has also launched a diversity dashboard to support better information sharing and improve transparency. It brings together the latest diversity data collected by the regulators on the people they regulate, meaning it is now easier to compare different parts of the regulated sector.
About the Judicial Diversity Forum
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.