The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) is seeking to offer more opportunities for salaried part-time working in a bid to increase diversity in the judiciary.
Alex Ford, who works on selection process and policy at the commission, said last night that salaried part-time working was something the commission is ‘always very interested in supporting’.
‘We’re talking with the Ministry of Justice at the moment about [its] policies in terms of developing that and trying to make that more accessible because that may open up more doors to encourage diversity,’ he said.
Ford was speaking during a Q&A session at a judicial appointment seminar on improving diversity, jointly organised by the Law Society, the Bar Council, CILEx and the JAC.
He was joined by barrister Khatun Sapnara (pictured), a circuit judge who sits at Kingston Crown Court and the East London Unified Family Court, and tribunal judge Swami Raghavan, a solicitor who has spent most of his practice working in-house.
The JAC receives around 5,000 applications and up to 500-600 recommendations a year.
Sapnara criticised applicants who failed to think about the consequences of listing several locations where they were willing to work in order to boost their chances of being appointed, describing it as a ‘real lack of judgement’.
‘If you say you’re going to move somewhere, you will be sent there,’ she warned. ‘There is a good chance you will be sent there and you will have to stay there for five years now before you can chop and change.’
‘To do it in order to get yourself an advantage and then later on cause problems for the civil servants in the process’, Sapnara said, called into question the candidate's integrity.