UK Judicial Diversity Initiative

On the theme of diversity in Canadian legal institutions (see Omar Ha Redeye’s excellent piece in Slaw yesterday), in the UK the Judicial Appointments Commission has just announced it will be running a selection exercise this summer by which it will recommend candidates for judicial appointments from “non-traditional” backgrounds.

The UK judiciary, in parallel, has embarked on a “Diversity Support Initiative” pilot project aimed at helping candidates prepare to make these applications. Places in the pilot program are limited to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates, women, “and those coming from less advantaged social or educational backgrounds”.

In the words of Lady Justice Hallett who is leading the initiative:

“We fear that we may be missing out on a pool of talent for whom the traditional route is not an option – top flight solicitors and barristers, general counsel, academics and many more. These are people who would bring a whole range of skills and abilities on top of their first class legal knowledge and experience. They are also likely to be men and women from a broad spectrum of social and ethnic backgrounds with the potential for the High Court and beyond.”

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