11 July 2019 – today’s press release

Lib Dems: Appoint more female and BAME judges

The Liberal Democrats have called for clear “targets with teeth” for improving judicial diversity, as new figures show that just 7% of court judges are BAME and 32% are women.

The statistics, published today by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and the Senior President of Tribunals, show that:

Of the 39 Court of Appeal judges, only 9 (23%) are women and just 2 (6%) are BAME.
Of the 97 High Court judges, only 26 (27%) are women and just 3 (3%) are BAME.
Of all 3,210 court judges, only 1,013 (32%) are women and just 205 (7%) are BAME.

Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Whether it’s the disproportionate number of black people in prison or the lack of convictions for sexual assault, there are far too many examples of the justice system not working fairly for BAME people or women.

One reason for this is that judges are overwhelmingly white men – especially in the higher courts. Progress on improving judicial diversity has been far too slow.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. It’s about time we set clear targets for appointing female and BAME judges and give those targets real teeth, with named individuals required to make regular progress reports to Parliament.

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