Stepping down to continue STEPPING UP


Good morning,

As promised (3)

Many are aware that four years ago I became the first ever appointed BAME Magistrates Deputy Bench Chairman in Avon & Somerset and was delighted 3 years later to be joined in the our team of 7 Deputies by two more BAME Deputy Bench Chairman following in my footsteps and transforming the leadership to 3 /7 deputies (42 %)

So although I am saddened to step down as Deputy Bench Chairman in Avon & Somerset, I know that I am leaving it in a more reflective racial state than when I originally embarked on transforming the face of our Judiciary.

I have indeed stepped down as Magistrates Deputy Bench Chairman

But only so that I can

Step UP!

And I have!

Respectfully Bypassing the Bench Chairman position which might have been the natural next step


not only for Avon & Somerset

but for the entire SOUTH WEST

There are only 6 IDM’s appointed Nationwide

So what does it mean…

The Judicial Diversity & Inclusion Strategy published towards the end of last year provided a clear focus for all our judicial diversity efforts and a framework for greater coherence in what we do and in what we need to do as a judicial family.

The appointment of 7 IDMs across England and Wales is to reflect the Judicial commitment to bring about real change and to influence diversity and inclusion.

Appointed IDMs have an important role to play in supporting leadership magistrates in building a more inclusive and respectful culture and working environment.

The Judicial Business Group (“JBG”) in each area is responsible for delivering an action plan to deliver the four key objectives contained in the JDIS.

The IDMs are members of their regional/Wales JBG and will also attend at the Regional/Wales Leadership Magistrates Group meetings.

The IDMs’ responsibilities and duties can be summarised as supporting the magistracy with diversity and inclusion work, in particular:

To work with leadership magistrates to design and implement judicial diversity and inclusion policies and action plans.
Being accessible in order to share diversity knowledge, resources and skills with other members of the judiciary (including their local leadership magistrates) as appropriate. IDMs will take the opportunity to raise awareness of the JDIS, good diversity and equality practice on and off the bench, and the work being undertaken towards a more diverse magistracy.

Convey key diversity messages to their respective courts and to be a critical friend where necessary to help achieve a more inclusive environment.

To signpost interested peers to the relevant diversity contacts e.g. diversity team within Judicial Office.

To provide mutual support to other IDMs and meet at least once per year to review and refresh knowledge and skills.

To provide advice and support to more senior members of the judiciary with leadership responsibilities when asked to do so.

IDMs will work alongside judges appointed as ‘focal point’ Diversity and Community Relations Judges who will provide support within their own leadership structures. IDMs will liaise with the Regional/Wales Leadership Magistrates.

All IDMs report to the National Leadership Magistrate who with the Deputy Lead DCRJ, Deputy Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate), sits on the Judicial Diversity Committee of the Judges’ Council and reports to the Lord Chief Justice, in consultation with Lady Justice Simler DBE | Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

IDMs will liaise with their colleague Focal Point Diversity & Community Relations Judges (DCRJs) who operate across the other jurisdictions.

We are all aware of significant recent events which have brought to the fore just how vital diversity is in the creation of a fair society where all can achieve success irrespective of race or background. It is there fore my absolute honour to continue serving within the Magistracy in my new role as Inclusive and Diversity Magistrate (IDM) from this point on.

I will continue to support the projects that I have developed with such a passion for changing the face of the Magistracy to more appropriately reflect the communities which we serve, there is no question about that.

Our continued success here in the South West is imperative.

We have done so well.

But we can do even better, if we continue to work together for the community and Juduiciary.

It makes sense to capitalise on the talents of the many rather than just the few.

Deepest gratitude to all who have supported and I am hoping that we can continue working together to make this happen in the most productive way possible and that I will have your continued support as I commence this new chapter.


Dr Carole A J Johnson JP
Inclusion and Diversity Magistrate (IDM)

South West Region.

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