Judge: racism is embedded in the DNA of the British judiciary
Posted by Der on May 7, 2021, 9:05 am
As a judge, I can see the racism embedded in the system |
If you are an African-Caribbean man you are 16% more likely to be remanded in custody than if you are white; you are also likely to obtain a custodial sentence of 24 months compared to your white counterpart’s 17 months. This is not because African-Caribbean men commit more serious offences than their white counterparts – these are punishments handed down for the same or similar offences. African-Caribbean men are also subject to receiving immediate custodial sentences with fewer previous convictions than their white counterparts. Our perceptions have become the reality that means 41% of all young people in detention are now from BME communities.
If you are African-Caribbean you are 16% more likely to be remanded in custody than if you are white.
black defendants are stopped and searched seven times more often than their white counterparts. This is despite falling stop-and-search figures, and falling crime generally.
A significant responsibility for this disparity of treatment still lies with an overwhelmingly white, middle class and male magistracy and judiciary, resistant to ethnic monitoring, which hides behind the fallacy that justice is “colour blind and impartial”.
We cannot expect to have a diverse judiciary and magistracy, and to recruit police officers, probation officers, prison officers and lawyers who look like us and are knowledgeable of our communities, if we are forced to operate in a system that is itself unwilling or unable to deliver justice equally to all. As Martin Luther King said, “It is not possible to be in favour of justice for some people and not to be in favour of justice for all people.”
At present, out of 161 members of the high court judiciary, there is not a single African-Caribbean judge, while only two are of Asian origin. Less than 2.5% of Oxford and Cambridge graduates (from whom 86% of high court judges are drawn) are of African-Caribbean origin.
Justice cannot be the prerogative of a narrow, white middle-class elite, who believe that racism is a problem for other lesser mortals to confront.
BME defendants and litigants face race discrimination in all jurisdictions.
pretending the problem does not exist is a recipe for unconscious but appalling levels of racial bias to continue unchecked.