Taking Silk: An Empirical Study of the Award of Queen's Counsel Status 1981–2015

33 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2015

See all articles by Michael Blackwell

Michael Blackwell

London School of Economics - Law Department

Date Written: November 2015

Abstract

This article considers which junior barristers are appointed to the rank of Queen's Counsel. The criticisms of the old appointments system are discussed and statistical methods are used to assess whether the changes to the QC appointments system introduced in 2004 improved the prospects of appointment for groups, such as women, that were disadvantaged by the previous system. The results show that under the reformed system groups that were historically less likely to be appointed QCs, such as women, continue to be so. However it is discussed how this may (partly) be attributable to lower rates of application, rather than unfair discrimination among applicants.

Keywords: barristers, counsel, diversity, legal profession, silk, Queen's Counsel

Suggested Citation

Blackwell, Michael, Taking Silk: An Empirical Study of the Award of Queen's Counsel Status 1981–2015 (November 2015). The Modern Law Review, Vol. 78, Issue 6, pp. 971-1003, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685462 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12157

Michael Blackwell (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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