Letter: Equal in the eyes of the law

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The Independent Online
NICK Cohen's article ('Courts 'show sexual and racial bias' ', 13 March) is inaccurate. Far from 'stamping on' initiatives to reduce discrimination, the Lord Chief Justice has strongly advocated them. In particular, he has actively supported the Lord Chancellor's programme of racial awareness seminars for the judiciary, and made clear the importance he personally attached to the equal treatment of all litigants, including women and ethnic minorities.

While opening the new Stafford Probation Centre, the Lord Chief Justice objected to a prominent display board in the women's room headed 'The Criminal Justice System Discriminates against Women', and containing a number of tendentious and unsupported allegations of discrimination at various stages of the investigation and trial processes. In his view this display would have sent entirely inappropriate and counterproductive signals to offenders by suggesting that their presence in the centre was not their own fault, but because the system had in some way picked on them.

The suggestion that he said he was going to 'an all-male lunch' is simply untrue: he neither said nor did this. Nor has he been consulted by David Maclean (or any other Home Office minister) about any of the matters in the article.

E S Adams

Royal Courts of Justice

London WC2

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