Judicial diversity in private Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearings

Recognising lack of judicial diversity for FDR hearings.

This report in the Law Gazette examines lack of diversity in selecting Judges for FDR hearings.

Private FDRs are without-prejudice hearings designed to enable clients, with the assistance of the judge, to identify and seek to resolve the real issues in the case, at a time and in a manner intended to limit the overall financial cost for the parties. It can also reduce delays in resolving the case and to lessen the emotional and practical strain on the family of continuing litigation.

This article highlights that although approximately half of the junior family bar is female, family solicitors usually choose a male barrister as the judge. Family lawyers have expressed concerns, supported by research, that shows nearly all private FDR hearings have been conducted by men even though similarly qualified women make up 44% of chambers.