Schultz, Dawson & Shaw: Gender and Judicial Education

Gender and Judicial Education by Ulrike Schultz, T. Brettel Dawson, and Gisela Shaw examines the ways in which gender is addressed—or ignored—in judicial education. Judges’ schools train incoming members of the judiciary—judges, and, at times, prosecutors. These schools prepare prospective judicial servants for careers in the judiciary by arming them with practical skills and knowledge. Schultz et. al. look closely at judicial training curricula at schools in seven countries across the world, and evaluate them based on implementation, recruitment, inclusion of gender theory, and general effectiveness. Their findings are somewhat unsurprising—judges tend to comprise a largely “homogeneous group representing middle-class values.”[1] Further, Schultz et al. find that “judges have deficits in real world knowledge and in skills of adapting it in the application of law.”[2]

Dawson illustrates the particular care with which the Canadian judicial education system has recognized and addressed this social context gap. First implemented by the National Judicial Institute in 1996, Canadian social context education has been incorporated in Canada’s judicial culture. Dawson emphasizes the importance of keeping judge education programs “under the direction of judges.”[3] This allows training to reach even those judge who are most “aligned with the judicial system and…insulated from social realities.”[4] Dawson presents a comprehensive assessment of Canadian judicial education, and this thoroughness carries through the rest of Gender and Judicial Education, whereSchultz et. al. introduce a truly global analysis of judges’ gendered perspectives.

  1. Schultz, Ulrike, T. Brettel Dawson, and Gisela Shaw, Gender And Judicial Education: Raising Gender Awareness Of Judges, (New York, Routledge, 2017), 3.
  2. , 3.
  3. Dawson, T. Brettel. 2014. “Judicial Education On Social Context And Gender In Canada: Principles, Process And Lessons Learned.”International Journal Of The Legal Profession 21, 3: 267
  4. , 263.

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