Judicial appointment system slammed for bias

An independent commission has warned that the system of appointing judges is plagued with ‘systematic bias’ against women, ethnic minorities and solicitors.

According to the Commission for Judicial Appointments in its second annual report published today (1 October), the appointment of silks and judges is also subject to poor record keeping and there is no clear criteria for what is required to become a QC.

The report states: “We cannot see that this process [of silk appointments] is… demonstrably consistent with the principle of selection on merit. Any new, fair system of appointment will have to be radically different from the current deficient process.”

The report go on to say that candidates for judicial posts are being excluded or put off from applying altogether. It calls for a detailed study of all judicial offices to find improved ways of appointing individuals with the right level of competence.