HC Deb 17 March 1971 vol 813 cc353-4W
Mr. Bishop

asked the Attorney-General how many magistrates are men and how many are women; what is the ratio of each in relation to the number of men and women in the population; and if he is satisfied with the ratio.

The Attorney-General

There are approximately 12,550 men and 6,700 women magistrates in England and Wales, other than those on the Supplemental List. This compares with the proportion of 13,100 male to 3,700 female justices in 1948. The present ratio of the sexes in relation to the number of men and women in the population of the age of 20 and above is: men magistrates, 1:1,274; women magistrates, 1:2,730. While my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor does not appoint magistrates on a discriminatory basis with regard to sex, he tries to see that an adequate number of women are appointed to every bench, especially to the juvenile panel, and regards the steady increase in the number of suitable women coming forward for appointment with satisfaction.