Over 100 QCs sign petition for the Garrick Club to admit women | Gender

Over 100 QCs have signed a petition calling on members of one of London’s last remaining gentlemen’s clubs, the Garrick, to vote for women to be admitted at the club’s annual general meeting next week.

The Garrick has a long association with the legal profession, and many senior lawyers are members. Female QCs who signed the petition expressed frustration that a club frequented by senior judges still refuses to accept female members.

“It is well known that The Garrick is a forum where senior members of the legal profession socialise with each other. Men are afforded an opportunity through their membership to form connections with senior legal practitioners to support their professional aspirations,” the petition states.

“This is an opportunity expressly denied to women and contributes to the gross underrepresentation of women at the top of the legal profession. We urge the Garrick’s members to consider whether they would remain members of a club that excluded based on race, religion, or sexuality.”

Several of those who signed the petition said the Garrick’s continued existence as a meeting place for senior lawyers was symbolic of wider diversity problems within the profession. The under-representation of women in senior legal positions is shifting only very slowly; just 16.2% of QCs, 28% of court judges and 38% of barristers are women.

Some QCs left messages beneath the petition describing their anger at colleagues’ membership of the club, and the unease they felt at having to attend dinners there as a guest. One senior female barrister, with 30 years experience, said that case dinners at the Garrick were “frequent”, and seemed to form part of invisible pattern of networking between male colleagues.

Another said the links between senior judges and the Garrick “have long played a part in creating a misogynistic atmosphere that makes it less likely that women will want to pursue careers to the highest level and, if they do, less likely that they will be successful. The Garrick’s insistence on all-male membership plays an important and corrosive role in confirming these gender distinctions”.

The former president of the supreme court Baroness Hale, who was the first woman among 12 supreme court judges (several of whom were then Garrick club members), criticised the club’s continued exclusion of women in 2011. “I regard it as quite shocking that so many of my colleagues belong to the Garrick, but they don’t see what all the fuss is about,” she told a law diversity forum. She said judges “should be committed to the principle of equality for all”.

Last month, Sir John Mitting, the retired high court judge chairing the public inquiry into undercover policing, which is examining the abuse of women by police spies, was criticised for his Garrick membership by a senior barrister during the inquiry’s opening session . Questioning his sensitivity to the issue of institutionalised sexism, Philippa Kaufmann said: “Your background is typical of the higher judiciary. Like many high court, supreme court, court of appeal judges, you’ve been a member of

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A $20-million gift will help Brown admit more veterans

Brown University has announced that it is one step closer to its goal of doubling the number of U.S. military veterans enrolled as undergraduates by 2024 with a multimillion-dollar gift from 1st Lt. Joseph P. Healey, an Army veteran who served in the Medical Service Corps at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Half of Healey’s $20-million gift will create a permanent endowment for the Elaine and Joseph Healey Scholarship for Veterans. The remaining $10 million will honor Healey’s mother by funding a scholarship for students in Brown’s Resumed Undergraduate Education program — an initiative that admits qualified prospective students who take an indirect route to college because of family, financial, military-service, health issues or other compelling reasons.  

Joseph P. Healey

Healey — cofounder of HealthCor, an investment management firm — came from humble roots. He was raised by a single mother in Warwick, and at one point, his mother, Tonia, lost her job. The family went on welfare. 

Looking for a means to improve their circumstances, Tonia applied to Brown. For four years, she rode a RIPTA bus between Warwick and Providence to gain the education that would let her start a career in psychiatric nursing to support her family. 

“I saw the power in what Brown was able to offer to my mom, who showed me what it means to be a fighter and a survivor,” Healey said.

Six years later, as he approached high school graduation, Healey was determined to follow in his mother’s footsteps and earn a college degree. But the cost of tuition was still an obstacle. 

“Coming from a single-parent family, finances were tough, even with financial aid packages,” Healey said. “Thankfully, I applied for — and was awarded — an Army ROTC four-year scholarship.”   

Healey attended Boston University before serving in the Medical Service Corps and remembers that “those years taught me invaluable lessons about discipline, honor, service and camaraderie that remain with me every day.”

Healy made the gift to Brown out of appreciation for the educational opportunities his family was given, and in recognition of the pivotal impact that those college educations made on their collective futures. 

“A Brown degree is a ticket that opens doors for the rest of your life,” Healey said. “My hope is that this gift will open the doors of higher education to student veterans and students exploring education later in life, who didn’t think a Brown education was even possible. … I want to give someone else the chance that I had.”

Brown University’s president, Christina H. Paxson, said: “This generous gift from Joe Healey and his family marks a major step toward fulfilling our promise.” 

Paxson and the university community pledged to admit veterans through a need-blind process and provide full financial support during their years of undergraduate education, beginning with the class of 2024. To date, the university has raised $11.3 million of its $25-million goal to fund the endowment.  

The announcement can be found

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Three in four admit failure to protect themselves

Almost one in five people who shop online say they would follow a link if it promised them a great deal while three quarters admit they have sometimes failed to take the necessary steps to protect themselves when shopping on the internet.

The survey published on Tuesday by Ulster Bank also found more than 30 per cent of people have never changed their online passwords while 22 per cent of people aged between 18 and 24 have shared their online banking pin with someone else either verbally, online or over the phone.

The survey found that 36 per cent of the same cohort said they would move money from their account to keep it safe from fraud if asked by someone claiming to be from their bank even though a bank would never contact a customer with a request of that nature.

The risky behaviour and the worrying lack of awareness of the level of fraudulent activity on the internet comes as the survey points to a surge in online shopping as a result of Covid-19 retail restrictions and an increased emphasis being placed social distancing and avoiding large crowds.

All told, 47 per cent of respondents said they were shopping more online now than before the start of the coronavirus crisis.

The survey of 927 online shoppers by Ulster Bank shows an increased awareness when it comes to safely buying goods online with 75 per cent of those surveyed saying they felt they had taken all necessary precautions to shop safely online.

“Black Friday gets bigger every year, which unfortunately gives criminals even more opportunities to target people online when they’re browsing for deals,” said Ulster Bank’s Community Protection Advisor Denise Cusack.

Black Friday was invented in the 1930s in the US and falls on the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally kick-starting the Christmas shopping season in the US. Many retailers offer bargains and discounts.

“Fraudsters are getting more sophisticated and will stop at nothing to part people from their money and their personal information.”

She said awareness programmes were vital and added that while it was encouraging that over two-thirds of people said they would not be embarrassed to tell their friends and family they had been the victim of fraud, there was more work to do in other areas.

She said the best advice she could give to people was “to really think before you click and make sure that you and your money are safe”.

The survey found two thirds of respondents shop online once a month or more often, with those aged 18-24 significantly more likely to shop online with this frequency at 84 per cent, falling to 44 per cent among those aged over-65.

With Christmas just over six weeks away, a quarter of those who took part said they had started their festive shopping earlier this year with 9 per cent claiming it was complete.

Meanwhile, the Garda has said that from the start of the year until the end of last month a

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