Diversity strategy and our targeted outreach and research team

Diversity strategy

There are 3 key aspects to our diversity strategy.

1. Outreach

  • all vacancies are advertised on the our website and by our stakeholders in the legal professions and judiciary
  • vacancies are also advertised in the monthly email newsletter, Judging Your Future, on Twitter and LinkedIn
  • we participate in training workshops and outreach events for potential candidates with its partners in the legal professions and Judicial Office
  • we publish articles in legal specialist media to inform potential candidates about joining the judiciary and forthcoming selection exercises
  • there are case studies and podcasts with successful candidates from a range of different backgrounds on our website
  • we include information about competency‑based assessment, and other guidance to help you with your application
  • where we identify that there is a particular shortage of candidates from diverse backgrounds which is negatively affecting the strength or diversity of the field we may target outreach to candidates from that group. We may also work with partners to provide advice and mentoring to those candidates.

We also have a targeted outreach and research team

2. Fair and non-discriminatory selection processes

We apply quality assurance checks throughout the selection process to ensure proper procedures are followed, standards are maintained and all stages of recruitment are free from bias.

Selection exercise materials are developed in line with independent expert advice and are reviewed throughout their development for possible unfairness. This includes:

  • review of material by staff and the Advisory Group to ensure that the content is not inadvertently advantageous to candidates from a particular legal background, jurisdiction or practice area
  • ensuring that the content and tone does not contain stereotypes, colloquialisms or language that may be off‑putting to different groups, and that role play and scenarios feature a diverse range of characters
  • testing all assessment materials with mock candidates and then making adjustments to the content and timing
  • using improved analytics following dry runs to identify and address any issues with questions in qualifying tests

The selection process itself is also carefully monitored by us, including:

  • observing live role plays, telephone assessments and interviews to ensure consistency across panels
  • monitoring the progression of candidate groups at key stages in the selection process: post-application, after each stage of shortlisting and post-selection day
  • carrying out equality impact assessments on all major changes to the selection process to ensure that the changes will not have adverse effects on any particular group

Additionally:

  • panel members are briefed on fair selection before each stage of a selection exercise. This training is aimed at mitigating unconscious bias and covers different professional and judicial backgrounds, as well as the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010
  • reasonable adjustments are considered at all stages of the process for candidates with physical, sensory and mental health disabilities, and long-term health conditions. The JAC also considers reasonable adjustments for those suffering from short-term injury or temporary illness
  • a Commissioner is assigned to each exercise to oversee quality assurance and fair selection
  • we publish the process, consistently assessing candidates against a bespoke competency framework or set of skills and abilities for each exercise
  • Until 2018-19 Official Statistics bulletins were published annually to record performance, including the diversity of selections. From September 2020, JAC official statistics are published as part of a Judicial Diversity Forum combined statistical report, bringing together data on judicial appointments, the judiciary and the legal professions.

3. Working with others to break down barriers

  • we chair the Judicial Diversity Forum, which brings together leaders of organisations from across the legal sector to provide strategic direction to activities aimed at increasing  judicial diversity
  • speak about the selection process at events run by the legal professions, the judiciary, Judicial Office and other groups
  • assist the legal professions with the development of support programmes for their members who are interested in judicial careers
  • As part of the Judicial Diversity Forum, we supports the delivery of the Pre‑application Judicial Education programme (PAJE), which is targeted at  prospective candidates from under-represented groups.
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