The UK Law Society Wednesday projected that it will take over 125 years before the judiciary of England and Wales is properly representative of Black people. The report compared the rates of representation in different underrepresented groups to figures from 2014 and found that Black people have had the smallest increase in representation, making up just 1.09 percent of the judiciary compared to 1.02 percent in 2014. Comparatively, Black people make up approximately 3.5 percent of the UK population. If the current rate continues, it would take until the year 2149 for the percentage of Black members of the judiciary to reach 3.5 percent.
The other underrepresented groups analysed in the report were Asians and women. Research revealed that Asian people make up 4.79 percent of the judiciary, compared to 2.53 percent in 2014. The Law Society estimates Asians will account for 8 percent of the judiciary in 2033, matching general population estimates. Women make up almost half of the population and around a third of judges. The report estimated that it will be a decade before half the judiciary are women.
In a press release Thursday, the president of the Law Society commented, “[w]e need a judiciary that truly reflects our diverse society. We must take action and make real, lasting change so our judges can represent the people who come before them in court. We urge the UK government to address the structural barriers that are holding back talented candidates.”
The lack of proper representation within the judiciary mirrors the issues faced by law firms in England and Wales. Last week, The 1% Study determined that only 90 of 13,000 partners in major England and Wales law firms are Black.