Judicial Diversity Statistics 2019

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon and Senior President of Tribunals, Sir Ernest Ryder

The Senior President of Tribunals and I are pleased to announce the publication of the judicial diversity figures for 2019. The publication provides the diversity breakdown of the courts and tribunals judiciary and non-legal members as at 1 April 2019.

Once again, I am encouraged to see that the number of women judges (in both the courts and tribunals) and non-legal tribunal members has increased; that around half of judges in the courts aged under 50 are women.

The Judicial Diversity Committee, chaired by Lady Justice Hallett, has set out the steps it plans to take over the next 12 months to reach a more diverse pool of lawyers and focus its efforts on attracting new talent and supporting career progression. The Committee will shortly publish its annual plan and report. Amongst other measures, the committee is working to support and encourage solicitors to join the judiciary.

In April the Pre-Application Judicial Education Programme was launched. This joint initiative between the judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Judicial Appointments Commission and legal professional bodies, will allow lawyers from under-represented groups to be better supported to become judges.

I would like to thank the members of the Judicial Diversity Committee and the cadre of around 100 Diversity and Community Relations Judges and 165 Judicial Role Models for the work they are doing.

Thanks also to the Judicial Appointments Commission and the professional bodies for their continuing support and assistance.

Summary of results

The judicial diversity statistics were published on 11 July 2019 showing the figures as at 1 April 2019.  The statistics show that:

  • 32% of judges in the courts and 46% of tribunal judges were women. 51% of non-legal members of tribunals were women
  • Around half of judges in the court aged under 50 are women. Women outnumber males among tribunal judges aged 40-49 (54% women) and 50-59 (52% women)
  • 23% of Judges in the Court of Appeal and 27% in the High Court were women
  • 42% of Upper Tribunal Judges were women
  • Since 2014 there has been a 7-percentage point increase in women’s representation among judges in the court
  • Of the 143 judges in the court that were appointed to a senior judicial role in 2018/19, 45% were women
  • 33% of judges in the court and 63% of tribunal judges were from non-barrister backgrounds (solicitor, CILEX or other). Representation by judges in the court decreased 3 percentage points since 2014 and for tribunal judges decreased by 5 percentage points over the same period
  • The proportion of BAME Judges was higher in those joining the judiciary than in those leaving the judiciary. 11% of new judges in the court were BAME compared to 6% of those leaving, and 12% of new tribunal judges were BAME compared to 5% of those leaving
  • BAME representation among judges in the court was generally lower than the general population, but in those aged 50 to 59 it was similar to general population at this age (10% compared to 11%), while BAME representation among tribunal judges was similar or higher than that of the general population at all age bands from 40 and over. Non-legal members have considerably higher BAME representation than that of the general population at all age groups
  • More than half of magistrates were women (56%)
  • 12% of magistrates declared themselves as BAME
  • There were very few magistrates aged under 40 (5%) compared with 52% of magistrates who were aged 60 or over.

On June 23 2019, Dame Victoria Sharp was sworn in as President of the Queen’s Bench Division succeeding Sir Brian Leveson. Dame Victoria is the first woman to hold this role and only the second woman to hold the post of Head of Division. On the same day Dame Ingrid Simler was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

Link to the judicial diversity figures for 2019 can be found below:

Pre-release list

The Judicial Diversity statistics are produced and handled by badged members of the Government Statistician Group within Judicial Office and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), alongside members of Judicial Office’s production team. Analytical clearance for the Official Statistics is provided by MoJ’s Chief Statistician. Pre-release access of up to 24 hours is granted to the following persons:

Ministry of Justice

Lord Chancellor (as part of the Constitutional role), Director Judicial Policy, Judicial Policy, Press Officer (x2) and Private Secretary (x1).

Judiciary and Judicial Office

Lord Chief Justice, Senior President of Tribunals, Senior Presiding Judge, Chair of the Judicial Diversity Committee, Chief Executive, Head of HR, Judicial Diversity Manager, Head of Appointments, Press Officer (x2), Head of Corporate Communications, Legal Advisers (x1) and Private Secretary (x2).