Please do not pretend that the crisis in judicial recruitment is just a consequence of decisions made by the best-qualified people not to apply because of government cheese-paring over pensions, working conditions, court closures and the requirement to work part-time before being appointed full-time.

There is an elephant in the room. The Judicial Appointments Commission and the system for appointment of QCs have both been infected by leftist policy. In particular, as Tony Blair’s last proper lord chancellor, Lord Irvine changed the system with the express intention of ensuring ‘nobody with reactionary views’ could be appointed or promoted.

This has been translated into the current requirement that applicants have to prove a ‘lifelong commitment to diversity and equality’. Such a system naturally means that at least half of the best qualified people are excluded. So the commission is left wading about in the leftist shallow-end of the professional gene pool in search of applications. This is the cause of the talk about so-called ‘positive discrimination’ measures to appoint people who would not otherwise be qualified.  

The inevitable consequence is that the standard of the judiciary is progressively falling.

R C W Tilbrook, Ongar, Essex