Judiciary: Gender

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 6 September 2021.

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Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Labour/Co-operative, Walthamstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) single-sex members clubs and (b) other barriers to achieving a gender-balanced judiciary.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

No known assessment has been undertaken by the department on the potential effect of single sex membership clubs. It is not a requirement to record club membership for judicial officeholders. Judicial appointments are made solely on merit and information is not collected from candidates for judicial office about membership of clubs or networks.

The Lord Chancellor works closely with the Lord Chief Justice, Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) and other members of the Judicial Diversity Forum (JDF), including the three relevant legal professional bodies, to assess barriers to achieving greater gender diversity in the judiciary. In September 2020, JDF members published a summary of wide range of actions they are undertaking at different career stages, collectively or individually, to help increase diversity in the judiciary, including for women. The JDF will publish a one year update to the action plan this Autumn.

The proportion of female court judges has increased by 10 percentage points since 2014, to 34% as at 1 April 2021, and for tribunal judges it has increased by 7 percentage points to 50%, over the same period.

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