Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
43 views
43 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
55 views
55 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
53 views
53 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
87 views
87 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
28 views
28 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018
127 Views

Putting the legal community’s inherent sexism on trial

In a recent article on Stylist.com, the lack of women at the top of the judiciary was discussed and made me wonder what it is that is going so incredibly wrong that the supposed pillar of our society is in fact not reflecting modern-day society in the slightest. It has always been the case that men have dominated the courts, but really the fact that this is still the case in 2014 is disconcerting. The consequences of not having hardly enough women in the upper echelons of the court system mean that, in the words of the Stylist article, ‘our nation is run from a largely male point of view’. How can this be fair, when women make up around 51% of the population, surely their point of view should be reflected?

It seems that maybe the reason for a lack of women is that the male judges are trying to maintain the ‘status quo’. In late 2013, the only woman ever to be in the highest court of our system; Lady Hale discussed the appointment of the senior judiciary and highlighted that the men dominate this process. She hinted at this idea of maintaining male dominance when she stated: ‘It would not be impossible to speculate that it is always much easier to perceive merit in people who are like you’, alluding to the fact that men may be more willing to hire other men instead of women.

The statistics in relation to female representation within the judiciary depict the dire lack of gender equality, as noted above Lady Hale is the only female sitting in the Supreme Court and even that poor statistic is better than the fact that not even one Head of a Division is a woman. However, the limited presence of women in the legal profession is not limited to those who are wearing the wigs. Indeed, there is a worrying statistic highlighted in the Stylist article which shows that despite 63.5% of trainee solicitors being female, the percentage of those reaching the position of partner ‘rarely goes beyond 20%’. Yet again, we are being barred from the upper, more rewarding level of the profession. The biggest question is clearly why?

Rosaline Sullivan argues that ‘women are lost to the profession due to its unwillingness to offer flexible way of working’, this seems to me a strong argument, but it is not justified. Just because we may at some stage wish to have children does not mean that we can be looked upon as unworthy or less suited for the higher more challenging possessions within the legal professions. An additional argument is that women may not suit the masculine working environment that requires ruthlessness and constantly involves networking in the pubs near Chambers or the office. All these reasons are also, it may be suggested, putting off women from entering the legal profession, in particular relation to the judiciary Sullivan describes ‘a reluctance to apply for the judiciary’.

So it seems that we are stuck in an incessant cycle, of reinforcing the old, stereotypical all male judiciary and also alienating the new generations of lawyers in the process. There is one glimmer of hope that Lady Hale, the leading Lady of Law, highlights: ‘things are improving in the lower ranks of the judiciary’. It remains to be seen whether this will spread through the system. Her observation is supported by the Stylist article in which it was concluded that ‘there are green shoots of change’.

I amongst many am waiting for these very small improvements to flourish specifically in the upper, prestigious areas of our legal system. It is clear that women do not lack the necessary ingredients to be a successful lawyer in these higher levels and something needs to be done to change it. Do attitudes need to change from the core, which I believe would be difficult, or is it that women just need to keep persevering to be treated as equals in the legal world, which clearly does not view them as this? Indeed, when reading ‘The Children Act’ by Ian McEwan, it hit me that the protagonist Fiona, a strong willed, extremely effective High Court judge, may be confined to the fictional world, due to the arguments above. What a great shame that would be.

Isabelle La Gallez

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
43 views
43 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
55 views
55 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
53 views
53 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
87 views
87 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
28 views
28 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
43 views
Arts
43 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
47 views
Film & Theatre
47 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Anonymous - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
55 views
Sports
55 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
53 views
Arts
53 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
87 views
Arts
87 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1142 views1
Campus News
1142 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
28 views
News
28 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

The University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) has apologised after 'sexist' beermats were found in Dig-In Boxes in Freshers' Welcome Bags. The beermats were provided by Brush…

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018
News
91 views1
News
91 views1

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy Lecturer at Sussex, was accused of making transphobic comments in July 2018. This followed various interviews and blog posts by Stock. Stock told…

Welcome 2018 Freshers!
Campus News
92 views
Campus News
92 views

Welcome 2018 Freshers!

Billie-Jean Johnson - September 15, 2018

Ah, Freshers. You’ve no idea the amazing year you have ahead of you! As you read this now, you’ve probably met your flatmates and maybe even met…

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity
Opinion
91 views
Opinion
91 views

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy lecturer at Sussex University, met with controversy after criticising the government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004). The amendment would ‘de-medicalise’ the…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
398 views
Arts
398 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
402 views
Arts
402 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
375 views
Arts
375 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
435 views
Arts
435 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
449 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
393 views
Arts
393 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
368 views
Arts
368 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
562 views
Campus News
562 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
316 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
924 views
Arts
924 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
375 views
Arts
375 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…