The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, Lord Falconer has announced plans to widen the pool of candidates available for judicial office. The announcement, made on 5 March at the Woman Lawyer Forum conference, paves the way for legal executives as judges. Sandra Barton, president of the Institute of Legal Executives (Ilex), said Ilex was pleased that Lord Falconer had “recognised the argument that judicial appointments must be based on merit and not on criteria that artificially restricts candidates”. Lord Falconer announced the changes after publishing a Department for Constitutional Affairs consultation paper entitled ‘Increasing Diversity in the Judiciary’.