Essay Example on Entail a discussion on the diversity of the senior Judiciary









This essay will entail a discussion on the diversity of the senior judiciary addressing the fact that the complete lack of diversity in the supreme courts is a serious problem that needs a solution There are twelve Law Lords in the UK out of these 12 only one Baroness Hale is a woman As well as this she is the only female Law Lord ever appointed The remaining eleven Law Lords are white males Lord Sumption s view on judicial diversity is it has to happen naturally we have got to be very careful not to do things at a speed which will make male candidates feel that the cards are stacked against them This is regrettably a common view within the House of Lords That the Constitutional Reforms Act of 2005 is still young and eventually change will come about naturally in time Lady Hale s view is a more contemporary and refreshing view stating it is wrong in principle that authority be wielded by such a very unrepresentative section of the population The Supreme Court introduced an Equality and Diversity strategy from 2016 2020 in this strategy it says We will put equality and diversity at the heart of our business As Baroness Hale rightly says this unrepresentative section of the population that is the senior judiciary may not be able to provide a diverse enough understanding of not just the law but of people An understanding that might be reached if the Supreme Courts considered BAME and female judges 

A solution to this would be to accept that the Constitutional Reforms Act 2005 did not make a difference to the diversity issue instead perhaps reforming the selection processes once more to ensure that the Supreme Court s Equality and Diversity strategy 2016 2020 is carried out efficiently ensuring what it promises It states we will actively identify encourage and inspire talented staff from diverse backgrounds this should be implemented throughout the court especially when appointing Law Lords OLD SYSTEM OF APPOINTMENT The old system of appointment for the senior judiciary before the Constitutional Reforms Act 2005 was that members of the judiciary would be selected upon recommendation of the Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor's department decided on eligible candidates The names were then sent to the Prime Minister who presented the candidates to the Queen The Queen would then provide the formal appointment Within this system of appointment the array of candidates being appointed were appointed in the image of existing judges white male barristers rather than solely on merit The Supreme Court was in dire need of introducing a system to ensure equality and diversity The judiciary is there to fairly and equally judge all sections of society therefore all sections of society including BAME and female judges should be included within the senior judiciary to provide equality and diverse NEW SYSTEM OF APPOINTMENT JAC Thus the Constitutional Reforms Act 2005 was introduced by the Labour Prime minister at the time Tony Blair The first key change that came about as a result of this act was the dramatic change in the role of the Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor s judicial functions were transferred to the Lord Chief of Justice The Lord Chief of Justice has many roles some of these roles consist of the allocation of work who was appointed formally by Her Majesty the Queen 

This is done on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor The candidates considered for appointment are determined by an independent selection panel consisting of the Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission Lord Kakkar President of the Supreme Court Sir Adrian Fulford Investigatory Powers Commissioner Dame Valerie Strachan as well as other members of the Judicial Appointments Commission The introduction of an independent selection panel was in the hopes of creating an appointment system that is inclusive and diverse An appointment system that previously relied too heavily on the Lord Chancellor s recommendation Another key change after the act was the appointment of judges The new system of appointment is a reform that was introduced to ensure there is no bias in whom is appointment for the senior judiciary However since Baroness Hale s was sworn into the Supreme Court as a Lady of Appeal in Ordinary in January 2004 before the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 In Baroness Hale s speech on Judicial Appointments to the Supreme Court she spoke on how thirteen judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court since her Out of these thirteen all were white men who had previously been barristers With an exception of two all had been educated at private schools and then gone onto gain a degree from either Oxford or Cambridge to pursue a career in commercial property or planning law Lady Hale Speech 2015 It is clear from the statistics that there has been no change in the diversity of the senior judiciary This is not due to lack of eligible candidates either The population of women eligible for appointment to the judiciary is 29 of this only 14 by looking at the statistics in reference to how many candidates of a diverse nature are eligible for appointment it is clear that

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