Tag Archives: judges

Judges & Daughters (who is checking this factor wrt new SCC appointments)

h/t Kristina Mansveld

Assuming this government isn’t going to get around to appointing a woman for some time (“be patient”, “there aren’t as many female candidates”, et boring cetera), here’s another factor we could consider, as illustrated in a study by profs from Rochester & Harvard:

Another Factor Said to Sway Judges to Rule for Women’s Rights: A Daughter – NYTimes.com.

See also the issue of Justice Blackmun of SCOTUS, his daughter, and Roe: here.

Slightly heartwarming, in a way.  Although it does raise some VERY pointed questions about race based cases, doesn’t it?  To be fair, at the end of the NYT article, the author suggests other new experiences which might affect our view of the world.

I couldn’t quite tell, from the article, whether the effect was as pronounced for women as for men, so I’m interested in that as well.  I should get the study, which is here.

Clothes & Hair, Race & Gender Identity: HR/judicial complaints arise out of Montreal Rental Board hearing

A Montreal woman has filed a complaint with the Administrative Judicial Council against a Rental Board judge she says repeatedly referred to her as a man.


While in court with a witness, a friend who was also a former tenant of the same building, Sojourner said in a news conference late Wednesday morning that the presiding judge, Luce De Palma, consistently referred to her with male pronouns.

“I was referred to as ‘monsieur,’ ‘il,’ ‘lui,’ and ‘mr.’ over twelve times” said Sojourner, “and each time she referred to me, I corrected her. Including the landlord, I was there over a landlord case, and the landlord’s representative would, every time he was spoken to in French, would correct the judge and say ‘madame Sojourner.'”

Sojourner, who is not transgender, identifies herself as a black lesbian woman, and says the experience left her dignity “in tatters.”

From Montreal CJAD800AM blog

You can hear Tomee describe what happened and how it affected her on this CBC radio program: Human rights complaint – Homerun – CBC PlayerFo Niemi, of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations, joins the discussion.  You need to hear the story to understand more about how race may figure in.  Hot tip: Hair.  Here’s the TV story.

Along with all the other emotions, I felt relieved to see that the landlord’s representative also engaged in an effort to correct the judge. What would you have done?

h/t to Osgoode’s Njeri Damali Campbell who sent me info on this case.

Sr. UK judge: Women should be given priority for top law jobs

Women should be given priority for top law jobs, says one of Britain’s most senior judges | Mail Online.


Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger wants to use new legislation to favour female and minority candidates over white men if they are equally qualified for a role.

But the view is likely to be seen by critics as supporting illegal positive discrimination.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, we’re wigless, but more importantly, numbers of federal appointments of women are plummeting.  The Globe had a nice article, here and a  lovely infographic here,.

“If anything there is a larger pool of brilliant and exceptionally qualified women lawyers to draw upon since 2005,” Prof. Sheehy said. “If the current process of selection cannot deliver anything approaching a representative bench … then it is clear that something is broken.”

I’ve written about representation on the bench, (Reflections: On Judicial Diversity and Judicial Independence in this book) and I think it’s pretty clear that we have serious problems with judicial appointments which reflect the forms of discrimination which pervade our society.  The news that things are getting worse comes on top of the fact that things were not that great to begin with.

H/t IFLS member and Osgoode colleague Sara Slinn

@ Osgoode: Rachlinski on "Intuition, Deliberation and Good Judgment" 1230-230 September 29, 2011

September 29, Professor Jeffrey Rachlinski (Professor at Cornell University Law School): “Intuition, Deliberation and Good Judgment” 1230-230 September 29, 2011

Room 2003 Osgoode Hall Law School.  Click here for more information and how to RSVP (lunch is provided, but space is limited).

Professor Jeffrey Rachlinski from Cornell University Law School will give a lecture on how intuitive processes can adversely affect judgment in the courtroom, boardroom and beyond. The event is organized by the Hennick Centre for Business and Law and co-sponsored by the Ontario Legal Philosophy Partnership and the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice. It will be held at Osgoode Hall Law School on September 29th.

Professor Rachlinski has written many articles including a number looking at unconscious bias in trials, elections and other arenas.  For instance, Parks, Gregory Scott and Rachlinski , Jeffrey J., A Better Metric: The Role of Unconscious Race and Gender Bias in the 2008 Presidential Race (March 4, 2008). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-007.See all his SSRN publications here.