In brief: LCD says no to equality working party

A request for a working party to look into the levels of ethnic minority representation and the incidence of sex discrimination among magistrates has been refused by the Lord Chancellor's Department, despite statistics that show that two-thirds of women employed by the LCD were in low-paid clerical and administrative jobs. Rosie Eagleson, general secretary of the Association of Magisterial Officers, who called on Laurence Oates, head of the magistrates' courts group at the Lord Chancellor's Department, to set up a joint working party to tackle discrimination, claims her request was greeted with a “complacent” response.