O’Loan criticises lack of top women judges

Posted By: August 24, 2015

Bimpe Archer.  Irish New ( Belfast). Monday ,August 24, 2015

IT is “absolutely unacceptable” that not one woman sits in Northern Ireland’s highest courts, Baroness Nuala O’Loan has said.

The former Police Ombudsman, pictured, said there is no justification for the lack of women in senior positions in the judiciary and criminal justice system.

The north is now the only jurisdiction in Ireland and Britain to have no female representative presiding in the High Court or above.

Ten High Court judges have been appointed since 2001 and five appeal court judges since 2007 – but all have been men.

In addition, the attorney general, director of public prosecutions, chief constable, police ombudsman, justice minister and the entire Stormont justice committee are all male.

By contrast, women now occupy most of the highest criminal justice posts in the Republic.

Baroness O’Loan said there is no doubt that many women in the legal profession would be capable of serving in the highest courts.

“I can see no justification for it. Twenty years ago I was teaching very able young women law and they have gone through that system,” she said.