chapter  10
18 Pages

Judicial diversity

Complexity, continuity and change
ByHilary Sommerlad

There is substantial evidence to support the claim that the argument for diversifying the judiciary in the UK has been won. This chapter provides a conceptual framework for understanding an apparent paradox, one that looks beyond the narrow mechanics of appointment procedures to the social, political and cultural contexts in which the judiciary is located. The basis for Walby's analysis is the conceptualization of the social order as comprising a series of systems, systematic and self-reproducing relationships. The chapter focuses on the analytical tools to explore some of the principal developments that have shaped the increasingly diverse environment to which the judiciary has had to adapt, commencing with the opposing, but complementary, developments of post-war welfare capitalism and neo-liberalism. It focuses on the developments which have affected the extent of judicial diversification. The chapter discusses the role of capitalist rationalization and neo-liberal inspired public sector reforms, commonly termed New Public Management (NPM), in re-shaping the legal labour market.