Lord Sumption said, “Accelerated progress towards a diverse judiciary is not going to be achieved under a system of appointment on merit alone” To be fair, it would take a long time before the bench reflects the make up of the society. In April 23% of the judiciary of Wales and England were women compared to 51% of the population at large; 4% were from ethnic minorities, compared to the 12% of the population at large. Also, the quality of judges is no close in elected states than in appointed states. The kinds of people that emerge from a merit selection are those known to the commission. It provides more opportunities for members of big name and recognized political families.
The merit system also takes powers from the v...
... middle of paper ...
...iversity doesn’t just mean adding a few people who happen to be women, gay, non-white or born into a less privileged family but are essentially the same as those already appointed. A genuinely diverse judiciary will be composed of people who see the world differently. That will bring richness to the judicial process and, vitally, democratic legitimacy but also problems. Judicial diversity requires us to acknowledge two related arguments. First, that achieving diversity requires real political commitment to change. Also, that a diverse judiciary will be a different judiciary. If we continue to pretend that a diverse judiciary means a judiciary with a few different faces on judges with exactly the same understandings, values and attitudes, then merit will continue to be constructed in terms of self-replication and a genuinely diverse judiciary will remain a pipe dream.
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