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Barrister Gender and Litigant Success on the High Court of Australia

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  • Vinod Mishra
  • Russell Smyth

Abstract

We examine the relationship between gender of the barrister and appeal outcomes on the High Court of Australia. We find evidence of asymmetries in that gender matters if a female barrister presents oral argument for the appellant opposed to a respondent, for which one or more male barristers present oral argument, but the reverse is not true. Specifically, we find that an appellant represented in oral argument by a female barrister, opposed to a respondent represented in oral argument by a male barrister, is less likely to receive the vote of a justice in the majority. However, we also find that the appellant disadvantage of having a female barrister present oral argument is (partially) offset in the case of liberal justices and on panels having a higher proportion of female justices. The extent to which the disadvantage is offset and potentially turns from being a disadvantage to an advantage depends on the degree towhich the judge is liberal and the proportion of female justices on the panel.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 15-13.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2013-15

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