Boys’ bench

It’s getting a little tiring asking you lot where all the women are. But, as the latest appointments to the Supreme Court bench are approved, we’re forced to ask it again. Where the son of a biscuit are all the females?

Certainly not in the UK’s highest court, that’s for sure. After opening up vacancies for three Supreme Court Justices last year, the court’s 12-strong judicial panel still has just one woman, Lady Hale, and no ethnic minorities. With no further departures expected until 2018, we guess that’s that for increasing judicial diversity, then.

But something doesn’t quite notch up here, because the application pack reportedly stated that the selection commission was “anxious to attract applications from the widest field.”

Perhaps that field houses a boys’ school in Surrey, or perhaps not many female or ethnic minority candidates applied. Whatever the reason, Baroness Neuberger hit the nail on the head when she said in 2009 that “Judges drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences will bring varying perspectives to bear on critical legal issues.”

With expectant barristers to learn today whether their silk applications have been successful, let’s hope the list of names reads less like an entrance exam into a boarding school.

And sticking with the bar, see our interviews with our Hot 100 QC’s Melanie Hall, Ingrid Simler and Tim Lord.


Also on The Lawyer:

  • With the QC appointments round imminent, check out 11KBW’s Sean Jones QC talking about his first year as a silk and confessing that becoming Queen’s Counsel (QC) feels like starting at secondary school.
  • Former 39 Essex Street silk Rohan Pershad QC has been jailed for three and a half years after being found guilty of VAT fraud. He plans to appeal.
  • Weil Gotshal & Manges Paris partner Laurent Faugérolas has left both legal practice and France to set up a corporate advisory boutique in London specialising in the oil and gas sector