The Effects of Judge Gender in Appellate Courts: A Comparative Cross-National Test
37 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2010
Date Written: September 30, 2003
Our focus is the behavior of judges sitting on the major appellate courts in three democratic federal governments whose judicial systems developed within the English Common Law tradition. Specifically we examine the Supreme Court of Canada, the Australian High Court, the United States Supreme Court and the major intermediate appellate courts in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Our aim is to provide a substantially broader examination of judge gender than has ever been attempted before. First, we compare across courts that have different institutional characteristics in order to determine whether the effects of gender are conditioned by institutional setting and the political context of decision making. To make these comparisons, we employ a common methodology to help assess whether differences discovered in different courts in previous separate studies were the results of differences in the political and institutional features or different time periods examined or were simply the results of different methodological choices. We further test for gender effects across a wide variety of issue categories that together make up the bulk of the agendas of our diverse courts.
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