§ Lord Patten
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Why no woman has been appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. [HL644]
§ The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg)
Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. It is a long-established convention that my advice to the Prime Minister on individual appointments is confidential.
Appointments must be on merit. In determining my advice on the appointment of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary I give careful consideration to the merits of eligible women. I wish to see more women appointed to the judiciary at all levels and I have taken steps to promote equal opportunities in judicial appointments and appointment to silk.