Women and ethnic minorities increase presence in judiciary

Women and ethnic minorities increase presence in judiciaryA new report reveals an increase in the number of women and people from ethnic minorities appointed to the judiciary last year.

The findings are published in the Judicial Appointments Annual Report, produced by the Department of Consti-tutional Affairs (DCA).

The percentage of individuals from ethnic minority groups appointed increased to 14.4 per cent of the total number of appointments from 8.9 per cent last year. The percentage of women appointed rose by 1 per cent to 32 per cent.

A higher percentage of women who were interviewed for judicial positions were appointed than men 38.4 per cent of those interviewed, in contrast with 32.8 per cent of male interviewees. More male applicants than female received interviews, with 46.6 per cent of the men being interviewed against 45.5 per cent of the women.

Although more applications came from solicitors than barristers, more barristers (including QCs) were ultimately appointed to the judiciary. Nearly 30 per cent of all appointments were barristers, as opposed to the 25.6 per cent of appointed solicitors.

The rest of the newly appointed judges were neither barristers nor solicitors. The figures include magistrates and tribunal appointments.
Just three weeks before this report was published, the DCA launched its consultation paper on increasing diversity in the judiciary.

Judicial appointments 2003-04
Applications Gender 2003-04 Barristers (inc QCs) Solicitors
White Male 1,753 561 641
Female 733 169 350
Ethnic Male 308 43 51
minority* Female 150 31 49
Unknown Male 48 5 17
Female 18 2 11
Total 3,010 811 1,119

Interviews Gender 2003-04 Barristers (inc QCs) Solicitors
White Male 836 310 641
Female 347 90 350
Ethnic Male 123 18 10
minority* Female 59 16 16
Unknown Male 24 3 5
Female 5 0 2
Total 1,394 437 440

Appointments Gender 2003-04 Barristers (inc QCs) Solicitors
White Male 257 108 50
Female 133 31 58
Ethnic Male 47 2 3
minority* Female 21 4 9
Unknown Male 18 3 2
Female 3 0 1
Total 480 148 123
*Ethnic minority figures include: mixed, Asian, black, Chinese and other

Source: Department of Constitutional Affairs