'Trivial reasons for rejection'

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The Independent Online

Kishoree Pau is a senior solicitor with more than 15 years' experience of practice in London who applied to join the bench in 1998. She was rejected in June last year.

Kishoree Pau is a senior solicitor with more than 15 years' experience of practice in London who applied to join the bench in 1998. She was rejected in June last year.

Mrs Pau, 38, says she was told at her feedback interview at the Lord Chancellor's Department that her application failed because she was too young - and did not speak loudly enough.

She said: "As far as I am concerned these were two trivial points which should not have prevented me from joining the bench. There was no suggestion I did not know the law or rules of procedure.

"As a result I am very disillusioned with the whole process and I shan't be reapplying."

Mrs Pau, who specialises in family and criminal law, responded to the Lord Chancellor's appeal to ethnic minority lawyers, with the phrase "don't be shy, apply", which he made at a lawyers' conference two years ago.

She has built strong ties with her local community, becoming a governor of the University of East London and a committee member of the Society of Asian Lawyers.

"My friends told me that if anyone was going to get it it was going to be me because I had the kind of background and experience that the Lord Chancellor's Department said were necessary for a judicial position."