The determination of the position of a judge should not be based on sex, religion, race, or other protected characteristics of an individual; this has been mentioned in the Equality Act 2010. The basic principle of law is freedom from discrimination and providing fairness and equality in the eye of law. The concept of diversity is very wide. In maximum cases, it has been observed that the Supreme Court Judges in England and Wales are white men which perfectly suit the narrow social background.
It has been agreed unanimously that the diversity rate in the number of judges in the judicial system in United Kingdom is very low. In this answer the reasons for less number of judges in Wales and England and along with it the less diversity regarding the members of the ethnic community has been discussed, the result due to such low diversity has been analysed in a greater aspect. It is also agreed by many that something must be done in this aspect and the diversity ratio must be enhanced (Strong, 2015).
Prior to 2005, when appointments were made and effectively decided by Lord Chancellor, then it was quite easy to blame the scarcity of ethnic minority and women judges in the judicial system and hence the discrimination that was practiced could easily be camouflaged. For the appointment procedure to the Supreme Court, secret soundings were held by the Lord Chancellor. Among the persons who were chosen the maximum number consisted of senior judges and among them the majority were former barristers, white men and the other persons who recommended other white men (Weller & Cheruvallil-Contractor, 2015). The candidates were then interviewed and assessed and the other required procedures were fulfilled for the selection process of the judges. Some of them are of the view that there exists no discrimination instead the blacks, women’s, Asians, and other disadvantaged groups are not interested and do not opt for the job as judges. Among them many good judges don’t want the job and few others don’t apply as they think that they won’t be selected (Wilson, 2013).
This problem of underrepresented ethnic minorities could be reversed by adopting certain practices at the appointment stage by the appointment commission. The candidates must be appointed purely on the basis of merit. There were many other aspects, which were questioned regarding the appointment criteria and the qualification for judges. Conferences were held regarding this issue and various remedies were provided among them one was that the pool from which the judges were chosen must be broadened so that more ethnic minority individuals and women candidates prefer this job. These could be possible by incorporating various ideas by making the job of the judge more attractive to women with families, at the early stage of the career potential judges should be spotted and they must be encouraged and mentored so that they can reach the aspired position. Training schools must be created for judges and the choice must be made between qualified candidates so that the competition is at a level playing field. However, the main problem for the incorporation of these ideas is the expenditure which is not readily available and by following the cheaper path the required judicial diversity could not be achieved (Foster, 2015).
It could easily be concluded that judicial diversity is a very important factor, which must be evaluated as a diverse judicial system would diminish the chance of biasness in the system and it would help to provide proper justice regarding discriminatory matters. A diverse judicial system would enhance the quality of our judges and it would increase confidence and public trust in the judicial system. Judicial diversity does not properly exist in England and Wales and the judicial system of these areas must be enhanced in order to increase the diversity ratio. Many barriers act in the way of achieving judicial diversity and in this paper, we have discussed certain ways of dealing with the issue.
Wilson, S. (2013) Judicial diversity: where do we go from here? C.J.I.C.L. 2013, 2(1), 7-15
Foster, R. (2015). Does the Equality Act 2010 ensure equality for individuals with Asperger syndrome in the legal arena?: A survey of recent UK case law.Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(4).
Strong, S. I. (2015). Judicial Education and Regulatory Capture: Does the Current System of Educating Judges Promote a Well-Functioning Judiciary and Adequately Serve the Public Interest?. Journal of Dispute Resolution, Forthcoming.
Weller, P., & Cheruvallil-Contractor, S. (2015). Muslims in the UK. In After Integration (pp. 303-325). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.
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