Falconer urges solicitors to apply for the bench

Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer has urged solicitors to become judges in an effort to boost judicial diversity.

The government is working with the Law Society and leading law firms on a series of initiatives aimed at promoting solicitors to the judiciary.

Kevin Martin, the Law Society President said: “We believe these changes will help to ensure that the best people are identified fairly from the widest pool of talent.”

Judges below High Court level will be encouraged by Lord Falconer to return to legal practice after they retire from judicial office.

In addition, part-time working and career breaks will be introduced for salaried judges to help individuals with caring responsibilities. The Law Society believes this will increase the number and diversity of applicants.

The Disability Rights Commission (DCA) has also commissioned research into why eligible female and minority ethnic lawyers do not apply.

Working with the disability organisations such as DCA, the Law Society and Bar Council, Lord Falconer has written to barristers and solicitors who recently became eligible for judicial office. Lord Falconer will seek the views of the Judges’ Council before announcing his decision on diversity later next year.