7 Pages


ByKaron Monaghan QC

The extent of the failure to make progress on diversity is sometimes difficult to spot. This is because of the Judicial Appointments Commission's (JAC) tendency to present a rosy picture, even when, at best, a more nuanced one is merited. No doubt motivated by a desire to look on the bright side given its own aspirations for change, the JAC is in the habit of press releasing headline statistics which suggest to the reader that progress has been good, in some areas even excellent, when a more granular analysis shows otherwise. The JAC is responsible for selecting candidates for judicial office up to and including the High Court and for convening selection panels in the case of senior judicial appointments up to but excluding the Supreme Court. The JAC professes an impartiality said to be guaranteed by prescribed criteria for appointment, lengthy and formulaic application forms, scoring systems and what is said to be the all-important involvement of lay people.