The UK has the lowest number of female judges on the bench with the exception of Azerbaijan and Armenia, according to a study comparing judicial systems across Europe.
The report by the Council of Europe revealed that in many European countries the distribution between male and female judges was now equal. In 21 out of 47 countries surveyed more than 50% of their judges were women. However only one in four judges in England and Wales were women – Azerbaijan and Armenia were the only other countries with less. Based on data from 2012, some countries, such as Slovenia, Latvia and Romania, had more than seven out of 10 female judges.
‘This Government takes judicial diversity very seriously and has taken steps to improve representation, while still appointing the best people for the job,’ commented Justice Minister, Shailesh Vara. ‘We recognise there is still more to do, which is why we will continue to work with all concerned towards a judiciary that reflects the society it serves.’
The study also showed that the UK had the second highest salary for judges, just behind Switzerland. Judges from England and Wales had a salary of almost £202,000 per year, almost eight times the average national salary – Swiss judges were paid £230,356, roughly five times their average national salary.