Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform
Philip G. Schrag & Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Commentary by Sean Rehaag
14 October 2010 (12:30pm – 2:20pm) 626 York Research Tower
Refreshments will be served
Immigration law practitioners in the United States have long suspected that the likelihood of winning asylum depends in large measure on which asylum officer or immigration judge is assigned to adjudicate a case. Following the presentation, Sean Rehaag will present comparative data on the Canadian refugee determination system, focusing on the large differences between the US and Canadian refugee determination systems in the effects of adjudicator gender on refugee claim outcomes.
My Osgoode colleague who will be provide commentary, Sean Rehaag, forwarded this invitation. He writes:
While the talk is about empirical research on refugee determinations, one of the key focuses of [my]commentary will be on the difference in the effects of the gender of judges on refugee claim outcomes in Canada and the United States.
“It turns out that, in the US, female refugee adjudicators have much higher grant rates than male adjudicators, leading some scholars to suggest that these striking differences provide support for the contention that male and female judges approach judging in distinctly gendered manners (see e.g. Carrie Menkel-Meadow, “Asylum in a Different Voice? Judging Immigration Claims and Gender” in Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Andrew Schoenholtz & Philip Schrag (eds.), Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform (New York: NYU Press, 2009) 202). However, in Canada the grant rates of male adjudicators are slightly higher than the rates for female adjudicators. One of the things that we will be discussing is why the effect of adjudicator gender is so striking in the US, but is only relatively small in Canada — and what this might mean for those who see evidence of essential gender differences in judging in the US data.”
Thank you Sean for this note!