The Law Society Gazette, 21 October 2004

Harman slams judges

Solicitor-general Harriet Harman (pictured) this week said it was ‘downright offensive’ for judges to imply that appointing more women and ethnic minorities to the judiciary would dilute quality – as the Department for Constitutional Affairs unveiled a consultation to investigate how to appoint judges from a more diverse background.

The DCA consultation will look at solutions, including formal career breaks, work-shadowing for would-be applicants, changes to age limits, lay member involvement in selection and more flexible sitting arrangements.

Registry plans e-system in 2006

The Land Registry expects to pilot a full e-conveyancing system in 2006, chief executive Peter Collis told delegates at the Solicitors 2004 conference. The registry plans to have introduced electronic charges and electronic funds transfer as well as new e-conveyancing legislation within that timescale.

18 October 1974

Equality for women

With the re-election of the Labour government, a number of white papers produced during the previous parliamentary session will now be brought before parliament in legislative form. One of them is the white paper entitled Equality for Women.

The Conservative government’s Equal Pay Act 1970, due to come into operation on 29 December 1975, ends one particular area of discrimination in the context of employment. The present government takes the view that these measures would not have gone far enough. Their own white paper covers a wider range of facilities and services, such as banking, insurance, mortgages, credit, as well as those related to rented accommodation and access to licensed premises, restaurants and hotels.

The white paper… also says that ‘in the professions, women are even less well represented’, with little improvement since the removal of sex disqualification by parliament in 1919.

October 1944

Solicitors and national service

Members may have observed announcements in the press that men over the age of 35 years will not be regarded as liable for military service. This statement does not mean that there is any change in the existing deferment procedure affecting solicitors and their clerks, because, although the men concerned will not be called up for the Forces, it does not necessarily follow that they will be exempt from transfer to industry.