On 3 November you reported Supreme Court justice Lord Hodge telling a panel discussion: ‘Most of the bench will change in the next five years. I would be astonished if the complexion of the court in my final few years was not different from what it is now.’

Those of your readers with long memories may recall almost identical words being uttered by the then lord chief justice, Lord Taylor, in 1992: ‘The present imbalance between male and female, white and black in the judiciary is obvious … I have no doubt that the balance will be redressed in the next few years… Within five years I would expect to see a substantial number of appointments from both these groups.’

It is strange how, over 20 years later, that elusive transformation of the judiciary still remains five years away. Lord Hodge should be prepared to be astonished, but we may not be.

Professors Rosemary Hunter, Kate Malleson, Lizzie Barmes, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London