Three Judicial Appointments Bodies share insights on Diversity

The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC) has taken part in a Tri-Partite Conference on Judicial Appointments with its sister bodies, the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) for England and Wales and the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JABS).

The event held annually, and this year hosted in Edinburgh on October 10, built upon the routine operational and executive engagement between the three statutory bodies, by pursuing themes of strategic and operational interest through the leadership of the respective Chairs, Chief Executives and Commissioners.

Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC) Tonya McCormac commented:

“NIJAC has a positive message to deliver in respect of gender representation across the wider judiciary. As of September 2023, the NI Judiciary has a female majority of 52 percent, reflecting an almost 51 percent majority of women within the Northern Ireland population. We noted particular successes in respect of gender across the full judiciary and in respect of Community Background.

Andrew Millar, NIJAC’s Head of Assessment, Transformation and Quality, who provided an overview on the Northern Ireland context to delegates, on the number of females in the profession remarked:

“The last three years, 2020-2023, reflects a trend over the preceding 10-years whereby the proportion of females in the judiciary has been increasing. We look forward to continuing to share our research and insights in this area and in gender representation as a whole and to share our analysis with our colleagues. The Tri-Partite continues to be a valuable and informative event which brings benefits to each of the three bodies involved. Despite differences in the specific role and scale of each organisation, the lessons from each Judicial Appointments body are directly applicable to each other across a wide range of work. The engagement identifies opportunities for wider collaboration, where we share learning and embrace opportunities for positive change, reflecting NIJAC’S values of openness, integrity and respect and reinforcing the organisation’s position as forward thinking, effective and independent.”

The next Tri-Partite Conference will be hosted by the Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales (JAC), in London in 2024.

Picture caption: Delegates from the Judicial Appointments Commission in Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland at the Tri-Partite Conference on Judicial Appointments held in Edinburgh, including from left to right on the front row the Chairing Members – Rt. Hon. Dame Siobhan Keegan (NIJAC), Lyndsay Mongomery OBE FRSE (JABS - Scotland) and Helen Pitcher OBE (JAC - England & Wales). 2nd Row – The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Warby (JAC), May Dunsmuir (JABS), Paula Stevenson (JABS – CEO), Elizabeth Burnley CBE (JABS), Emma Mariott (JABS), Stuart Scott (JABS – Digital and Continuous Improvement Manager). 3rd Row – Jessica Prandle (JAC – Deputy CEO and Head of Strategy & Policy), Tonya McCormac (NIJAC – CEO), Sheriff Principal Kate Dowdalls KC (JABS), Denise Loney (JABS), The Hon. Lord Weir KC (JABS), Billy Love (JABS – Head of Operations). Back Row – Andrew Millar (NIJAC – Head of Assessment, Transformation and Quality), Alex McMurtrie (JAC – CEO).