England: Judges face backlash over membership of men’s-only club

England: Judges face backlash over membership of men's-only club

An open letter signed by dozens of lawyers in England and Wales has called on members of the judiciary to resign from the Garrick Club, an exclusive London club that restricts membership to men.

The club “embodies a social and gendered ideology that starkly contrasts with the reality of the modern courtroom”, the letter states, as well as being “a symbol of an entrenched anti-woman tradition”.

It goes on to say that membership of the club is “fundamentally incompatible with the core principles of justice, equality and fairness, particularly for senior members of the judiciary who significantly shape jurisprudence on gender-based discrimination and inequality and gendered crimes of violence and abuse”.

Earlier this week, The Guardian revealed details of the club’s membership for the first time, which is said to include a UK Supreme Court judge, five Court of Appeal judges, eight High Court judges and around 150 KCs, as well as many elite non-legal figures.

The letter, whose signatories include the likes of Dr Charlotte Proudman and Jolyon Maugham KC, calls on all judges, whether full-time or fee-paid, to resign their membership of the Garrick Club “with immediate effect”.

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