Barriers to Application for Judicial Appointment: LGBT Experiences (2011)

In 2009 we became aware that the Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity, chaired by Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE and established to examine barriers to progress on judicial diversity, was examining race and gender, but not sexual orientation. After an initial meeting, we realised the panel was faced with a lack of information in the area of sexual orientation, which provided the motivation to undertake our study of LGBT perceptions in this report.

 

In 2011 the InterLaw Diversity Forum published its Barriers to Application for Judicial Appointment: LGBT Experiences which included a preface from the then Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission.

 

This report was cited in the Report of the Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity chaired by Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE, and was instrumental in the Judicial Appointments Commission’s 2011 decision to change its policies on LGBT applicants, which included initiating monitoring of sexual orientation for the first time that year.

 

The JAC's decision to begin monitoring sexual orientation was announced at our report’s launch at the Law Society in July 2011 and in a subsequent press release by the JAC. 

 

Christopher Stephens, Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission:

 

The JAC is delighted to be working with the InterLaw Diversity Forum to improve the participation of LGBT lawyers in the judiciary by broadening the pool of candidates.  There is much work underway in the legal professions, by the JAC and in the judiciary to ensure that under-represented groups are applying for the judiciary. 

Daniel Winterfeldt , Founder & Chair of the InterLaw Diversity Forum:

It is vital that the judiciary is seen to reflect the Society it serves because confidence in the judiciary is so central to the functioning of a fair society. 

We are delighted that the JAC has decided to monitor sexual orientation of candidates for judicial appointment and that the Neuberger Report considered the issues faced by LGBT lawyers seeking judicial roles. We are keen now to work with serving judges to make sure that the judiciary is seen as a welcoming place for LGBT lawyers to develop successful careers.

(See the full JAC press release here.)

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