The Judicial Appointments Commission will apply an “equal merit provision” from 1st July onwards.
This means that where two or more candidates for an appointment as a Judge are of equal merit, a candidate from an under represented group may be given the position on the basis of their race or gender.
This may prove to be a controversial move as it does encourage positive discrimination but it will hopefully result in a more diverse and representative judiciary. The judges in the courts have long been criticised for being male, white and middle-class. In such a diverse country, the Judges deciding cases should be diverse.
Time will tell whether anyone will challenge such a move in the employment tribunal or in Europe.