In September 2020 the Judicial Diversity Forum (JDF), chaired by the Judicial Appointments Commission, published combined statistics which report on diversity in the judiciary. Lord (Ajay) Kakkar, Chair of the Judicial Diversity Forum, said:
“The Forum’s combined statistical report is the first publication of its kind. It provides a picture not only of the diversity of today’s judiciary, but also of the process by which judges are recruited and the diversity of the pool from which much of that judiciary is drawn – the legal professions.
The report provides, in one place, data which offers a window into factors which impact upon judicial diversity and bring into focus where positive improvements have been made, and where more remains to be done.
The report is important, but not itself the end goal. The data provides the picture that can be used, along with assessments and evaluation, to take action that leads to positive change.
I would like to thank all the members of the Judicial Diversity Forum for helping to bring this combined report together. It is a new and important contribution to the debate on how best to bring further improvements to judicial diversity and will provide the basis to assess what further steps are required to drive more rapid progress, individually and collectively, for 2021 and beyond.”
You can read more about the report’s findings in the accompanying JDF narrative.
The JDF has also published an Action Plan of the wide range of actions that its members are undertaking, either collectively or individually to help increase judicial diversity.
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. You can find out more about the JDF here.
Under the Equality Act 2010 we are required to set specific, measurable equality objectives.
Our equality objectives for 2020 to 2024 are:
- To widen the pool of candidates applying for judicial positions through targeted communication and outreach activities
- To ensure that all selection exercise policies, procedures and practices are free from bias, ensuring all candidates experience a fair and open process
- To monitor the progress of diverse candidates through selection processes, compare data to the eligable pool (where available), and take investigative action where appropriate
- Promoting diversity in the workplace and ensuring that we meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 as an employer.
Monitoring data is collected during the judicial selection process, and from JAC staff, to help measure progress.