Problems in the pathways to judicial success: women in the legal profession in Northern Ireland

Leah Treanor*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper considers women’s representation in the under-explored context of the judiciary in Northern Ireland. Previous research into the experiences of women practitioners in the legal profession in Northern Ireland has indicated that women are discouraged from pursuing judicial careers for a variety of reasons associated with their gender. Further research into the gendered barriers these women practitioners face is required in order to assess the extent to which the same may impede their career progression. This paper uses a critical, social constructionist feminist approach to explore some of the gendered barriers influencing women’s under-representation in Northern Ireland’s judiciary. It is contended that representation can only be improved when women’s retention and progression through the ranks of the legal profession is addressed. Employing gender as a lens, this paper will analyse potential difficulties faced by the women solicitors and barristers in Northern Ireland in order to assess future judicial gender parity prospects in this jurisdiction as it is these women solicitors and barristers who form the female “talent pool” from which future members of the judiciary will be selected.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of the Legal Profession
Early online date23 Mar 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 23 Mar 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Law


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