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White judiciary ‘breeds disharmony’

White judiciary ‘breeds disharmony’

A white male-dominated judiciary threatens "the harmonious nature of society", a government minister has said.

More women and black and Asian people should be allowed to fill the top positions in the justice system so that it looks "somewhat more like the general population", Lord McNally told the Lords Constitution Committee.

The courts fail to reflect the society they judge, he said, adding that when one looks at the full range of the judiciary, "they all look an awful lot alike".

Lord McNally said: "I don't think you can have a really harmonious society if your judiciary, however excellent, does not seem to reflect the society in which it is dispensing justice to.

"You don't sacrifice quality for that aim but I think we are right to make sure, or point in the direction of, having a judiciary that in some way reflects the society to which they are delivering justice.

"That's me but it's one I feel very strongly about because I think that's how you keep society harmonious."

He added: "I think that, in the long term, it is a threat to the harmonious nature of our society unless we address it. But that is a personal opinion."

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