The supreme court began its search for three new judges on Thursday, seeking members who will “improve the diversity of the court”.
Of the court’s 11 current members, 10 are men and all are white. Just two were not privately educated. On Thursday, the court’s president Lord Neuberger said he and his colleagues want that to change. “What we are looking for is to recruit on the basis that the court becomes more diverse,” he said.
He also spoke out about media attacks on the judges in the wake of November’s high court decision on the Brexit case: “We [judges] were certainly not well treated. One has to be careful about being critical of the press, particularly as a lawyer or judge, because our view of life is very different from that of the media. I think some of what was said was undermining the rule of law.”
Neuberger is retiring in September, along with fellow supreme court judge Lord Clarke. The court is also recruiting for a replacement for Lord Toulson, who retired last year. Next year two more judges will retire, suggesting that the court’s makeup could substantially change.
“We are a fantastically diverse society and it must be right that when society looks at the most senior members of the judiciary it sees that it reflects the society of which we’re part,” Robert Bourn, president of the Law Society, told the Guardian.
“There’s a real opportunity to make a change,” said Sam Mercer, head of equality and diversity at the Bar…