About the Campaign
This campaign was launched to combat the effect that memberships of male-only clubs such as the Garrick Club have on the ability of women to reach the higher echelons of their professions.
At the top of the legal profession, women remain grossly underrepresented and the implications of that not just for the legal community, but society in general should not be underestimated. The highest-ranking members of the legal profession participate in and preside over court cases that have far-reaching effects. It should not be the case that women are under-represented in places of such influence.
The Garrick is well-known for being a place where members of the legal profession socialise and network with each other. Indeed, The Lawyer magazine reported that it is estimated that around 25 per cent of the senior judiciary holds membership at the Garrick plus dozens of QCs.
Lady Hale has spoken out against the Garrick, citing the culture at the club as a factor in why women did not make the top judicial ranks due to 'too many systemic barriers' put in place that depended more on 'personal network relationships'. Numerous female QCs have also spoken out against the Garrick and the Magistrates Association effectively blackballed three of the legal establishment’s most senior figures because of their membership of the Garrick.
Members of the judiciary should not be building personal and professional relationships in an arena in which women are barred.
Finally, irrespective of any tangible benefit that membership of the Garrick Club offers, association with a club that exercises such an exclusionary rule cannot be consistent with the commitment to equality and diversity that we should expect from leaders of the legal profession.
You can hear Emily Bendell, who launched the campaign (initially as a legal challenge) discussing her views on the case in the Spectator Podcast or in The Guardian.
Click the button if you are a legal professional
and wish to sign this Letter