Britain debates judicial gender balance

In response to a report showing only 22.3% of British judges were women, the Labour Opposition is considering whether to support “quotas for female and black and ethnic minority judges … to achieve a judiciary reflecting the composition of the population”. Quotas are a controversial form of affirmative action that require a set proportion of positions to be allocated to underrepresented demographic groups. A statistical analysis of the Australian judiciary found that while there has been significant improvement in the last decade, “[n]evertheless, there is a significant distance to travel in achieving gender parity — there are still more than twice as many males as females in the judiciary.” By contrast, “61.4% of [Australian] law graduates are women.”