More than 40% of judges are now women

The number of women judges has almost doubled since 1999, according to official figures.

Judicial statistics show that 41% of current appointments are female, compared with just 24% eight years ago.

Equalities minister Vera Baird said: “Increasing the diversity in the judiciary remains a key priority. I hope to see further improvements next year.”

Baroness Usha Prashar, chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), added: “I am very pleased to see these positive figures today. The JAC selects candidates for judicial office on merit and merit alone. We are committed to widening the range of applicants for judicial appointment and to ensuring that the very best eligible candidates are drawn from a wider range of backgrounds.

“By promoting diversity through our fair and open processes we are contributing to these encouraging results.”

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