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Notebook and Pen

WICL Policy Blog

Welcome to the Women in Criminal Law Policy blog!


Here you can find updates on the ways in which WICL is working to influence policy and ensure that the criminal justice system works for our members. We know that, in reality, the way in which the system operates often actively discriminates against female practitioners, and we aim to speak up on behalf of our members in order to change that.


We exist for you, our members, and we welcome any suggestions on issues you would like WICL to consider from a policy perspective, or any organisations you would like to see us engage with or make representations to.


You can get in touch with us at, or via our LinkedIn or Twitter pages.
All communications will be treated anonymously.


Concerns that we are currently investigating include:


  • Extended Operating Hours; 


  • The requirement for duty solicitors to undertake a minimum of 14 hours’ contract work per week, and how this discriminates against women who are more likely to work part time and/or have caring responsibilities;

  • The gender pay gap, both in firms and at the Bar, including the disparity in the types of cases women are briefed in, in contrast to male colleagues of similar call and experience;

  • The low uptake of Shared Parental Leave, and the reasons behind this;

  • The disproportionate impact of warned lists on female advocates; and

  • The underrepresentation of female practitioners in professional directories


Shared Parental Leave Initiative

In 2015, new rules on shared parental leave (SPL) came into force. The rules allow parents to take up to 50 weeks off - shared between...

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