Judicial Appointments Commission launches international research project

desk globe on table19 May 2021

We have commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to lead a research project into measures used successfully by other common law jurisdictions to improve judicial diversity – to better understand how these might be used in England and Wales.

The study initially ran over 6 months and has been extended to the summer of 2022. It will include a review of existing literature alongside stakeholder consultation.

NatCen is an independent organisation with experience of conducting research on complex and sensitive topics within crime, justice and diversity, and experience of working with government departments including the MoJ and the Home Office. The project team will be led by Dr Jeffrey DeMarco and include Dr Jennifer Barton-Crosby, Lana MacNaboe, Felicity Kersting and Caroline Turley. Between them, the team have experience of working on a Rapid Evidence Assessment into Judicial Diversity initiatives for the MoJ, and an evaluation for the Prison Reform Trust.

The study will:

  • identify measures that have been used by other common law jurisdictions to improve judicial diversity, including promoting diversity, professional support schemes, policy approaches, and outreach
  • identify evidence that provides insight on what works, what does not work and what is working best within the selected jurisdictions, and how England and Wales may benefit from learning from other jurisdictions
  • inform decision-making regarding future judicial diversity monitoring and evaluation frameworks.

Once research is complete, NatCen will provide a written thematic report including recommendations on based on the evidence, and a presentation of findings to be reviewed by the JAC Commission Board before consideration by the Judicial Diversity Forum.

This project is one of three initiatives being run by the Targeted Outreach and Research Team which has been set up support improvements in judicial diversity.

Photo by Kyle Glenn