Judge high court justice

The legal profession in Australia is arguably more diverse than at any other point in its history. In 2016, the NSW Law Society found there were equal numbers of male and female lawyers for the first time ever, and that women accounted for 60% of new graduates. But, while statistics like this place a glossy veneer on the profession, the picture looks very different when the judiciary is placed under the microscope.

Last week, Crikey pointed out that a significant number of Australia’s top judges were products of an elite private school-sandstone university pipeline. The institution looks similarly homogeneous when the racial and gender split among judges is examined. The pool of Australian lawyers may slowly be getting more diverse, but the top tiers of the judiciary remain overwhelmingly white and male.