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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 04-10-2013, 11:54 PM
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so there have been a series of debates about judicial bias specially against men. so far there is no way to statistically prove one way or the other. I am planning on doing the following. I would certainly appreciate your input

a web page with following format.



all names & numbers would be links to different pages detailing the cases that amount to those numbers, each case would be verified by a number of volunteers (lets say 5) reading the cases and deciding which percentile the case should fall under.

i.e. click on the judges name and go to the page with ALL decisions made by him/her, if you are logged in as a registered volunteer you can pick a link help put it in either percentile.

I am thinking of using Canlii for the data. suggestions are more than welcome

i am sure this will make some chambers stink poop but at the end we are only categorizing data that is already available.

Last edited by sahibjee; 04-11-2013 at 12:16 AM. Reason: couldnt get the table right, attaching image
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:59 AM
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How about another category - % in favour of child/children. I know you are looking for male/female bias but hopefully some judges really think about what is best for the kids.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Peace0ut47 View Post
How about another category - % in favour of child/children. I know you are looking for male/female bias but hopefully some judges really think about what is best for the kids.
That's a pretty easy one to find. Just look for judges who order shared custody.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:09 AM
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so there have been a series of debates about judicial bias specially against men. so far there is no way to statistically prove one way or the other. I am planning on doing the following. I would certainly appreciate your input
I'm not sure if there is really much of a debate, the bias is fairly obvious. The only argument is the extent of the bias. It is like racism, anyone who claims that we have eradicated racism is dreaming, the only question is the extent to which racial biases permeate our society.

Officially, family law is completely gender neutral. Officially, race or cultural background is never considered when making employment decisions.

That said, your proposal could suffer from a serious non-response bias. The problem is that very few cases actually make it to trial, and those could be cases in which the men feel they actually have a chance, or, conversely, it could be cases where the men are clueless but persevere regardless.

Another approach is to look at the custodial situations in all divorce cases, but even that is tainted. Many men agree to sub-optimal custody situations since they have a belief (true or otherwise) that they will not get a fair shake in the court system. The reality is that women end up with custody at a substantially higher rate than men. Women's groups will argue that men don't want to be parents. I would argue that the perception of bias creates bias, especially when the cost to test the existence of said bias is so high.

It is certainly possible to compare judges against each other. While the sample of cases that appear for trial could be biased, it is likely that each judge oversees a relatively comparable sample of cases.

Not saying that it is not worth doing. There might not be a non-response bias. I was just pointing out a potential flaw due to the self-selecting nature of those who go to trial.

A more interesting one to me is that, while perusing canlii, I find that if one party is unrepresented, it is overwhelmingly likely that it is the father rather than the mother who is self-repping. I would like to know if my perception is true, and if it is, what the cause might be.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace0ut47 View Post
How about another category - % in favour of child/children. I know you are looking for male/female bias but hopefully some judges really think about what is best for the kids.
thats a good suggestion. i'll put some more thought into it.

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That said, your proposal could suffer from a serious non-response bias.
could you please elaborate what non-response bias means. i am clueless here.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:16 PM
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could you please elaborate what non-response bias means. i am clueless here.
Non-response bias means that a bias may develop in your results because only certain types of people choose to respond. You wouldn't get at the real results because you don't have a representative sample if people are self-selecting themselves out of responding.

Non-response bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

No offense, but if you want to do statistical analysis without understanding methodology, your results are going to be meaningless.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
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Non-response bias means that a bias may develop in your results because only certain types of people choose to respond. You wouldn't get at the real results because you don't have a representative sample if people are self-selecting themselves out of responding.

Non-response bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

No offense, but if you want to do statistical analysis without understanding methodology, your results are going to be meaningless.
Wow I never knew about non-response bias, and given the responses it seems like we are facing it right here lol.
Plus there are very few cases on per current judge anyways, I wonder if there is another website with cases, may be something lawyers use.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:34 AM
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As someone who studied stats in university and has worked for one of the countries biggest polling firms, I would tell you never trust a poll or survey that either doesn't include all applicable data, or has a valid scientific method for ensuring that sample data is representative. If a polling firm doesn't ask you all those personal questions about where you live, your income, how old you are etc., then they can't possibly ensure that they get a representative sample that matches the population at large. And of course polls where the respondents aren't random, but chose to repond on their own are pretty much meaningless.

I would tell you that trying to prove gender bias based on how the judgements went is not ever going to be scientific. First it is highly subjective from one person to the next what opinions are biased, let alone which decisions. Secondly the bias, if it is readily apparent, could be spring from the judge or from a biased law.

I am not at all convinced you can measure thisscientifically. And certainly I would tell you that if you have a preconcieved notion that judges are biased against men, you would need to factor in your own personal bias into the equasion. This is one of the biggest problems I see in polling today, is that pollsters hired by political parties tend to bias the results towards their employers, consciously or not.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:43 PM
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Thanks for posting that Downtrodden Dad.

Judicial statistics can be an alluring subject. But falling under the spell of statistics makes one think that somehow if numbers are crunched 'just so' any potential bias can be revealed.

There are so many uncertainties and variables in order to determine if there is any bias. By basing a study on judgements that are public does a great disservice to the realities of child custody decisions.

If you think of the statistics as flowing through a funnel, you will begin to realize that looking at judges decisions is quite possibly the WORST way to go about this.

Pretend at the top of the funnel you have ALL the parents that are splitting up. A quarter ways down you have those that actually have to go to court initially (via conference, where a judge can give his opinion and parents work it from there - no doubt there can be bias in THAT), then further down you have those who fight for custody in a court room, and then further down you have the actualy decisions that are posted publically.

That number at the bottom is SO SMALL that it cannot be an effective measure to determine bias. Bias can exist at each stage through the tunnel.

Simply a very bad idea.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:04 PM
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Data analysis is an art. Numbers alone do not give you an accurate picture. Maybe this data could be interpreted that women present their facts more accurately and are more successful; perhaps men demonstrate that they are not reliable witnesses etc. You need to know how to interpret data before sweeping statements are stated as fact.
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