Judicial appointment is becoming more appealing

29 August 2013

Judicial appointment is becoming more appealing according to the findings of independent research on barriers to application for judicial appointment, published jointly by the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), the Bar Council, the Law Society and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

More than 4,000 solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executive fellows eligible for judicial appointment replied to a survey.  The survey updated previous research undertaken in 2008 to see how attitudes to judicial appointment have changed, while incorporating the findings from the subsequent survey undertaken by the Interlaw Diversity Forum for LGBT Networks in 2011. Nearly all aspects of judicial office are more appealing according to the survey results. The most appealing aspects of a judicial career are the work being interesting 97% (up from 92%), making a difference to the law 93% (up from 85%) and undertaking public service (unchanged at 89%). Also: 

  • 87% agree judicial office would be enjoyable (up from 74%)

  • 46% have considered applying - a significant increase since 2008 (32%)

  • 43% see being a judge as part of their career path (up from 28%), and
  • 73% think they have the right skills and experience (up from 66%).

Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar said of the findings:

"We are pleased to see the healthy response rate to the survey. The information presented in the report shows that more practitioners than ever are considering a judicial career and this is to be encouraged. The report does, however, highlight the concerns of some areas of the Bar, which we will continue to address  through better information on our website and our outreach programme."

To access the full report, please click here.