A new ad hoc report from the UK Ministry of Justice finds fewer Black, Asian, and minority ethnic candidates are selected to serve in the judiciary. The report finds that, beyond other controlling factors, a candidate’s ethnicity is a significant factor in determining how successful they are in the judicial selection process.
The report is based upon a statistical analysis of judicial selection data spanning April 2015 through March 2021. A variety of factors are considered as potential factors in the judicial selection process, including gender, ethnicity, profession and social mobility.
Overall, the report finds there are no significant differences in success rates between women and men for judicial applications. Additionally, the report finds solicitor candidates do less well than barrister candidates overall.
One of the biggest takeaways from the report is the finding that “overall Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates do less well than White candidates” on the majority of selection criteria the report analyzed. While white candidates have a 14 percent success rate, Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates only have a success rate of 6 percent.
To determine how significant ethnicity data is, outside of other factors, the report analyzes ethnicity data while controlling for candidates’ legal professions and candidates who received a degree from either Oxford or Cambridge. Even after controlling for these two factors, the report finds that the overall success rate for Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates remains lower than white candidates.
This report is not the first Ministry of Justice report which reveals disparities between Black, Asian and minority ethnic judicial candidates and white judicial candidates. A report released earlier this year revealed that, over the past three years, Black, Asian, and minority ethnic candidates represented almost a quarter of all applications to the judiciary. However, only 14 percent of those applicants were recommended for appointment to the bench.
In light of this new report, the Ministry of Justice called for further research and analysis to be conducted, “particularly where the steepest drop-offs” are seen.