Addressing delegates at the Seventh Biennial Minority Lawyers’ Conference in London in April, Lord Judge said there was a need for applicants of the “highest possible available calibre”, and asked lawyers, “please, do not ignore the possibility of a judicial career because you think that the colour of your skin, or your creed, or your origins may make you unsuitable, or ineligible, or indeed may mean that you will not be successful”.

Desmond Browne QC, Chairman of the Bar Council, hailed “clear signs of progress” in the Bar’s ongoing drive to broaden access to the profession, but told delegates “there is still more which must be done”. Proposed cuts to public funding for legally aided family cases would hit women and ethnic minority practitioners, who make up a significant proportion of family advocates, particularly hard, he warned (see further p 6 of this issue).