White males still head profession

THE LATEST breakdown of the judiciary based on sex and ethnic background confirms the continued dominance of the white male.

According to the Lord Chancellor's Department there are just six women High Court judges out of a total of 93 on 1 March this year.

Out of the 453 circuit judges, 27 are female and of the 819 recorders just 51 are women.

Lady Justice Butler-Sloss is the only female Appeal Court judge.

The position for lawyers from ethnic minority groups is even more bleak.

The department estimates there are just four non-white circuit judges – 0.8 per cent of the total – and no non-white High Court or Appeal Court judges.

This week the Association of Women Barristers is holding a seminar in an attempt to encourage more women barristers to apply for silk, the recognised passport to appointment to the senior judiciary.

Belinda Bucknall QC, Sonia Proudman QC, Pamela Scriven QC and Helena Kennedy QC have all accepted invitations to speak.

The 'Silk and how to get it' seminar will also be attended by an equal opportunities officer from the Lord Chancellor's Department.

Association of Women Barristers spokeswoman Barbara Hewson says: "The Lord Chancellor's Department is very keen for more women to apply for silk and this talk is to raise women's expectations about their careers."

The seminar, the second of two talks on the way to success at the Bar, is at 6.30pm on Monday 3 April at the Gray's Inn Arbitration Room and costs u5.

For details ring Yvonne Cocklin on 0171 405 7211.