FILE PHOTO: The Supreme court building in London (BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

WITH the retirement of Lady Black of Derwent over the Christmas break, UK Supreme Court  now only has one woman and no BAME representation.

To fill the gap, the country’s top court seeks a minority justice to ‘boost diversity of decision makers’, reports The Telegraph.

According to the court, the selection will be based on merit but the selection commission will also consider ‘increasing diversity within the court’.

“The selection commission welcomes applications from the widest range of applicants eligible to apply, and particularly encourages applications from those who would increase the diversity of the court,” it said.

The current salary for a Supreme Court justice is over £230,000, with applicants having to hold a high judicial office for at least two years, or have been a qualifying practitioner for at least 15 years

There is no age threshold for applicants but justices are required to retire at the age of 70.

Shortlisting for the role is due to take place next month, the report said.

Lady Black, 66, is retiring after 21 years as a judge, but could have remained a member of the UK’s highest court until 2024.

Her retirement will mean that Lady Arden will be the only woman left on the Supreme Court, the other ten are all white men.

In 2017, Lady Justice Black became the second female judge of the Supreme Court after Lady Hale who served as president until her retirement in January this year.

Court judges from BAME backgrounds only represent 8 per cent of court judges, rising only one per cent since 2019.

A report on the diversity of the judiciary by the ministry of justice earlier this year found that women were underrepresented in the courts, accounting only for 32 per cent of judges and 26 per cent of High Court roles or higher.

Law Society president Simon Davis told The Telegraph that the diverse pool of applicants was good news but it was “particularly disappointing then to see the present disparity of successful outcomes.”