Second Reading (Continued)

Part of Equality Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:23 pm on 15th December 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Deech Baroness Deech Crossbench 7:23 pm, 15th December 2009

I am grateful to the noble Lord for his intervention. My express intention in saying this is that I do not think that Clause 45 is necessary because of the great advances that the Bar has made. It makes it look as though the Bar has not made them. The biggest threat to young barristers is the Government's cut in legal aid in the crime and family areas where young women and black and ethnic minority practitioners are strongly represented and would expect to earn a living, albeit a modest one, doing family and criminal work. The cuts in legal aid are the factor that will most impact on the possibilities for advancement of young women and black and ethnic minority barristers at the Bar. The Bar itself is taking every possible step to help them forward, and I would wish that Clause 45 be regarded in that light. I know it has been brought over from other legislation, but its presence is now superfluous.