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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 23, 2004: Lawyers Urged to Widen Diversity

Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) Minister David Lammy yesterday called on top law firms and chambers to take a leading role in increasing diversity in the legal profession. Opening the Standing Conference on Legal Education, sponsored by the Legal Services Consultative Panel (established under section 35 of the Access to Justice Act 1999), in London, Mr Lammy said:

"The legal profession should be taking a leading role and setting an example to the other professions when it comes to recruitment and retention. A change in attitude or a change in culture needs to come from those at the top. I want to see the top law firms and top chambers take a leading role. If those from non-traditional backgrounds can see the leaders of the profession setting the standard, this will hopefully encourage smaller firms and chambers to try and keep pace."

While women and minority ethnic groups are well-represented at the lower levels of the legal profession relatively few break into the most senior ranks. Only 15.8 per cent of court judges are women, and just 3.4 per cent come from minority ethnic groups. Information on women in the judiciary can be found here. Information on minority ethnic groups in the community can be found here.

The DCA has published a consultation paper, Increasing Diversity in the Judiciary, which seeks to determine what steps are needed to widen the pool from which applicants for judicial appointment are drawn. The DCA presented a discussion paper, Entry and Retention in the Legal Professions, which asked:

  •  What are the educational and social backgrounds of those entering the legal professions and how representative are they of the population?
  • Do sex, ethnicity and social background affect the career paths of those hoping to enter the legal professions?
  •  Could advertising and recruitment campaigns be better targeted to promote diversity?

In June 2003, the Prime Minister announced the creation of an independent Judicial Appointments Commission as part of the Constitutional Reform Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 24 February 2004.