Diversity in the Supreme Court and the profession

Is the Supreme Court a guardian of the constitution or enemy of the people? This was the question under discussion at a panel event on Wednesday 24 May. The debate ranged from the court’s role post-Brexit to judicial appointments.

Chair of JUSTICE’s Judicial Diversity Working Party and JUSTICE Council member Nathalie Lieven QC spoke on the panel. She was joined by Lord Phillips, Lord Clarke, Lord Falconer and Dominic Grieve QC (also a member of the JUSTICE Council). The event was organised by Europa Law to raise money for the Stroke Association.

Nathalie spoke to our Working Party’s recommendations, highlighting the profound lack of diversity in our highest courts. She argued that inclusion and diversity is vital to ensure the legitimacy, fairness and quality of our senior judiciary.

The lack of diversity in our legal profession, and especially at the Bar, continues to garner media attention – including on HMCTS pilots in six courts to test longer, more flexible court opening hours, and proposed changes to parental leave rights for self-employed barristers. Among its 30 recommendations, JUSTICE’s Working Party report, Increasing judicial diversity, calls for judges to be recruited from a far wider pool of senior lawyers, and for a structured upward career path to take advantage of the far greater diversity in the junior ends of the legal profession.

Video and audio of the event:

Video interviews from the event, including with Lord Clarke, Lord Phillips and Nathalie Leiven QC, can be found here on YouTube.