Australian society and courts have undergone significant changes; one of the most visible is changing roles for women. Simply counting women and men is insufficient. Gender is multifaceted, multidimensional, contextually specific and performed as part of multiple identities. This phase of the project is creating new knowledge about gender and work and is developing an original, empirically based understanding gender and judging.

This research confronts questions about whether, and under which conditions, men and women approach their work as judges differently, addressing meanings of impartiality and claims of reduced or increased legitimacy and bias raised by the entry of women into a previously all-male judiciary.

The most striking difference between women and men in the Australian judiciary is with household and domestic obligations, where women judicial officers spend much more time on such work and the nature of the work they do is different. Differences in the attitudes of men and women towards their work as judges or magistrates — women reporting slightly greater stress, lesser satisfaction with the job overall — may relate less directly to their experience of the work alone, or to themselves as women, but to the significantly different personal and social context in which they undertake their judicial work.

Investigating gender and judging draws on all the data gathered by the JRP and MRP:

  1. National Survey of Australian Magistrates 2002 
  2. National Survey of Australian Judges 2007
  3. National Survey of Australian Magistrates 2007 

Publications from the Project

Hunter, Rosemary, Sharyn Roach Anleu and Kathy Mack ‘Feminist Judging in Lower Courts’ (forthcoming)

Hunter, Rosemary, Sharyn Roach Anleu and Kathy Mack (2016) ‘Judging in Lower Courts: Conventional, Procedural, Therapeutic and Feminist Approaches’, International Journal of Law in Context 12(3): 337-360. DOI: 10.1017/S1744552316000240.

Roach Anleu, Sharyn and Kathy Mack (2016) ‘Managing Work and Family in the Judiciary: Metaphors and Strategies’ 18(2) Flinders Law Journal 213-240.

Roach Anleu, Sharyn and Kathy Mack (2015) ‘Comparación de Mujeres y Hombres de Experiencias en la Judicatura Australiana’ 24 e-cadernos ces 25-56.

Roach Anleu, Sharyn and Kathy Mack (2014) ‘Job Satisfaction in the Judiciary’ 28(5) Work, Employment & Society 683-701.

Mack, Kathy and Sharyn Roach Anleu (2013) ‘In-Court Judicial Behaviours: Gender and Legitimacy’ 21(3) Griffith Law Review 728-751.

Mack, Kathy and Sharyn Roach Anleu (2013) ‘Skills for Judicial Work:  Comparing Women Judges and Women Magistrates’ in Ulrike Schultz and Gisela Shaw (eds) Gender and Judging, Oxford: Hart Publishing: 211-229.

Mack, Kathy and Sharyn Roach Anleu (2012) ‘Entering the Australian Judiciary: Gender and Court Hierarchy’ 34 (3) Law & Policy 313-347.

Mack, Kathy and Sharyn Roach Anleu (2010) ‘Women in the Australian Judiciary’ in Patricia Easteal (ed), Women and the Law in Australia LexisNexis: 370-88.

Roach Anleu, Sharyn and Kathy Mack (2009) ‘Gender, Judging and Job Satisfaction’ 17(1) Feminist Legal Studies 79-99.

This phase of the research was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP 1096888).