Bar Council Welcomes Lords Constitution Committee Report on Judicial Appointments
28 March 2012
The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and
Wales, has welcomed the findings and recommendations of the House
of Lords Constitution Committee in its report on Judicial
Appointments published today. The inquiry, to which the former
Chairman of the Bar, Peter Lodder QC, gave evidence, found that the
principle of appointments based on merit is vital and should
continue, an outcome which the Bar Council completely endorses.
Commenting on the report, Maura McGowan QC, Vice-Chairman of the
"We agree with many of the Committee's findings, particularly
the overriding principle that appointments should be made on merit.
We also support the Committee's views about the desirability of
introducing more flexible working arrangements and career breaks to
improve the diversity of the judiciary.
"The judiciary should be representative of the society it
serves. We should always strive towards that aim. No candidate
should face impediments based on their profession, gender,
ethnicity or socio-economic background. The selection procedures
for judicial appointments must be open, fair and accessible to all
suitably qualified candidates. Appointments must be based on
"The Bar's record on diversity at entry to the profession shows
a record of steady improvement, with those Called to the Bar now
largely representative of the balance of gender and ethnicity in
society as a whole. We are also working hard on retention at the
Bar, to encourage more women in particular to develop their careers
in practice and become eligible for judicial appointments in due
course. This takes time, but we are moving in the right
"We will be working with the Judicial Appointments Commission to
ensure that good quality candidates from the Bar, whatever their
background, are encouraged to put themselves forward for
consideration for appointment.
"The Bar will play its full part in ensuring that the judiciary of
tomorrow is fit for the future. We shall study the Report in detail
and look forward to the Government's response."
Notes to editors
1. For further information please contact the Bar Council
Press Office on 020 7222 2525.
2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales.
• The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory
• Fair access to justice for all
• The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across
the profession, and
• The development of business opportunities for barristers at home
The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of
the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory
functions through the independent Bar Standards