Saturday, April 19, 2008

Female Lawyers & Judges

Thanks to the Law Society of Scotland's Journal for highlighting a survey which puts law at the bottom of the league table for mothers returning to work and an article about the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland looking at why there are so few women and people from ethnic minorities applying for senior judicial roles.

According to the Training and Development Agency for Schools survey career break mums see a job in education as best suited to working mums. From the survey of 11 sectors the legal profession was seen as one of the worst jobs for mothers returning to work. Only 26% of employees in the legal profession compared to 48% of teachers will return purely for the love of the job.

This article in the Scotsman reports an inquiry into the dominance of white middle class men in the judiciary is damaging the public reputation and credibility of judges. Sir Neil McIntosh, chairman of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland, is quoted as saying that he believes women have as much chance as men of becoming senior judges, but not enough are putting themselves forward. The investigation will look at the factors it believes may work against women. Thankfully, in my opinion, a quota system has been ruled out.

Only four of Scotland's 35 serving senior judges are women (11%) and none are from ethnic minorities. Of the 140 full-time sheriffs, 26 are women and only one from an ethnic minority.


Swiss Tony 21 April, 2008 14:46  

Why are all these investigations necessary?

Surely anti discrimination laws mean that any job is open to everyone who should then be assessed on their merits.

Positive discrimination should be as illegal as negative.

Maybe being a judge is not the peak of the professional career ambitions of the average ethnic person which explains why not many make it. Perhaps they are just not interested.

I have not seen many white, upper class, oxford educated Halal butchers, or african sink estate comprehensive educated Rabbiis either.

I think the government should do an enquiry and create a few new laws to sort this out.


Fiona 22 April, 2008 12:22  

I'm not in favour of positive discrimination either, but there are often artificial barriers that make professions difficult for women.

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