Judicial Diversity

Berry Smith’s Head of Debt Recovery, Jane Rees, was one of the first Chartered Legal Executives (CLE) from across the UK to be invited to attend the offices of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) at the Ministry of Justice in London to help test their new website and new online application process and to discuss the JAC’s ongoing efforts to achieve greater diversity in the judiciary.

The JAC is an independent commission that selects candidates for judicial office in courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and for some tribunals whose jurisdiction extends to Scotland or Northern Ireland.  The JAC is developing a new online application process and website to encourage applications to the judiciary, particularly from under-represented sections of society, thereby demonstrating its continuing support for greater diversity within the judiciary.

Following the implementation of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, CLE’s became eligible (like solicitors and barristers) to apply for a variety of judicial appointments.   As CLE’s tend to enter the legal profession in a different way to solicitors and barristers, tending to study and qualify whilst working in a legal environment, it is hoped that their eligibility to apply for appointments will help to increase diversity within the judiciary.

Jane said “It is imperative that CLE’s are aware that they are eligible to apply for judicial appointments and that they do not feel discouraged from doing so.  The JAC welcome applications from people with different professional backgrounds and from those who entered the legal route in what may, perhaps, have been a non-traditional way.“