Why don’t we have more female judges? – Macleans.ca

Irwin Cotler’s efforts to get more information on judicial appointments (see earlier Tories chastised for lack of racial diversity in judicial appointmentsRacial Diversity Gap in the CourtroomForget MacKay, a woman’s place is on the bench):

The justice minister’s office explains that in the case of Cotler’s most recent question, there simply wasn’t enough time to do what would have had to have been done to answer Cotler’s questions.

In the order-paper question that Mr. Cotler tabled last December, Q-836, he was asking the department to go back through 21 years of information, a great deal of which would require a manual search of the paper records. The department only has 45 days to answer order-paper questions and there was just not enough time.

It does seem like a rather large project.

Cotler and Liberal MP Sean Casey today released a statement calling for greater diversity on the bench and the questions raised by last year’s controversy—whatever Peter MacKay said or didn’t say—still seem worthwhile. While Ontario publishes information on applicants for judicial publications, we have no such data for federal appointments. At what rate are women applying to be federal judges? How has that rate changed over time? And how has the rate of appointment of women changed over time? Those don’t seem like questions for which it would be unreasonable to expect answers to be somehow procured.

I don’t think this is true.

When I compiled a list of women and visible minorities in provincial legislatures, it only took me a week or so to go through names and photos of provincial legislature members. Going through judicial appointments should not be that time consuming (only an average 69 per year between 2006-12).

Why don’t we have more female judges? – Macleans.ca.

Direct link to the table for 2006-12 appointments:

breakdown (pdf)

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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