By Matthew Roscoe •
Published: 28 Oct 2020 • 13:26
A black barrister in Essex, who was mistaken for a defendant three times in one day, is set to meet the head of the Courts service.
“Humiliated” Alexandra Wilson was challenged by a security officer, a solicitor, and a clerk at a magistrates’ court in September after being mistaken for a defendant.
According to the BBC, the 25-year-old from Essex did receive an apology, however, in a meeting due next month she is hoping for “real change”.
“It was quite humiliating to be shouted at, and to try to remain calm and focus on what I was trying to do knowing also that I’m then about to present a case in that same courtroom,” Ms Wilson said.
She continued: “For me, it’s not about these people being punished or told off, or sanctioned at work.
“What’s more important is that people learn from these experiences… because I don’t think this is about three individuals going out of their way to be malicious.”
“If you’re working in a court room… there needs to be better training in place so that you’re aware of the fact that actually there might be a disproportionate number of black people coming in, but you need to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their skin colour,” Ms Wilson said.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “There is no place for discrimination anywhere in society, and we are committed to playing our part in tackling it across the justice system.
“Unconscious bias training is mandatory for all court staff, all new starters undergo diversity and inclusion training and we are constantly looking at how we can further ensure all users are treated equally and fairly.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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