Encouraging diversity in the judiciary is a priority for the Ministry of Justice. The Lord Chancellor has a shared statutory responsibility for judicial diversity alongside the Lord Chief Justice and the Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). All three are members of the Judicial Diversity Forum, which brings together leaders from organisations across the legal sector to improve judicial diversity.
The Judicial Diversity Forum’s first combined statistical report was published on 17 September 2020, bringing together data on the diversity of the judiciary, judicial appointments and from the relevant legal professions (solicitors, barristers and legal executives). Published alongside the statistical report is a summary of the wide range of actions that its members are undertaking – at different career stages, either collectively or individually to help increase judicial diversity. The statistical report and the Action Plan were published on the Judicial Appointments Commission website:
MoJ specifically committed to doing the following:
For the magistracy, MoJ is investing £1m in a recruitment and attraction programme to recruit more and more diverse magistrates. This will include the introduction of new IT that will enable better tracking of magistrate recruitment data, and outcomes, including by diversity data. We will also be investing in a targeted marketing strategy in 2021 directed at under-represented groups in local areas to boost magistrate recruitment. All judicial appointments are made solely on merit.