Law and Society Association, Denver (2009)

CRN32 Gender and Judging 1506, Building/Room: Conf / TBA 06
Thursday, May 28 4.30p.m. ““ 6.15 p.m.

Gender permeates all parts of the judicial process. It shapes who is considered a viable candidate for a judgeship, which judges move up the judicial ladder, and how judges go about the business of judging.

Chair: Joyce Sterling


Hazel Genn: Diversifying the Judiciary: Real World Challenges
Drawing on my experience as a member of the Judicial Appointments Commission in England, I will discuss the problem of operationalizing the concept of merit and of what constitutes evidence of merit and potential. I will also consider the problem of developing selection criteria in the absence of any positive description of the realities of judicial work, particularly in the “trenches”.

Carrie Menkel-Meadow: Asylum in a Different Voice? Judging Immigration Claims and
This paper (soon to be a book chapter in Ramji-Nogales, et. al, Refugee Roulette (NYU Press) reviews the empirical findings of a major study of US immigration asylum judging which found women judges were 44% more likely, than male judges, to grant asylum. The paper analyzes these findings and discusses them in relation to the author’s prior work on gender and legal behavior (of lawyers and judges) and the extant literature on gender and judging.

Judith Resnik: Representing Justice: Gender, Race and the Iconography of Courts
As women and men of all color became litigants, they came to question the ways in which the justice system represented them in legal doctrine and in the imagery that adorns courts. Thus the history of gender, race, and ethnic bias and the creation of specialized bar associations to reflect the changing demographics of lawyers intersects with contestations about “Mulatto” justices in Aiken, South Carolina, with “Communist” Justices in Newark, New Jersey, and with scenes of segregation in Jackson,Mississippi. This paper explores the history and contemporary debates about how to express commitments to diversity and to acknowledge the injustices of justice systems.

Ulrike Schultz: Women Judges Careers in Germany: Distractions and Impediments
I will report first results of empirical research into Women Judges Careers in the federal state of Northrhine-Westfalia, the biggest one in Germany with 18 Mill. inhabitants and 5.854 judges of who 33% are women. We have just got a governmental grant to do it. We will analyze the existing statistical data, evaluate personnel files and interview persons who hold key positions for advancing careers and a number of judges (male and female equally) who have climbed up the ladder or who haven´t got a chance for a career or foregone it. The focus of this paper will be on factors which impede careers.

Discussant: Leny de Groot-van Leeuwen