Women Judges Influence in Modern Law

This paper posits that women judges must have had their influences already in the Modern law that countries have now at present but their influences on said  Modern Law could only be established by these women after if they had the chance to have been appointed in judicial positions and participated in the decision making. Their influences are more of course felt on matters about gender sensitive issues if they have the chance to take part in the decision process.  This paper attempts to prove these assertions by using obtained resources on the basis of the experiences of the US and other countries.2. Analysis and Discussion2.1. What are the influences women judges in modern law?The influences of women judges to modern law could not overemphasized since women are also humans who have rights that must be protected. The law must have been made for both and women then. There are several laws there require gender sensitivities and the equal protection clauses as far the both sexes are concerned. Without valid representation of women in the judiciary branches of the government, it would be difficult to appreciate whether justice if actually served. In other cases, to have women decide on justice principles that could be discharged by men judges should also be a reason to celebrate that women could really be effective judges. A case in point is that of Justice Carmen Agribay who considered a champion of women’s right in the Latin American judicial system as the first woman nominated to the Supreme Court of Argentina. Her life was noted to have demonstrated an enduring commitment of gender equality and eliminating corruption within the justice system, including training of judges to deal with the issues of violence against women and human rights about (Gruber Foundation, 2007).It could thus be argued that influences of women judges to the modern law is their participation of how the law evolved in their respective countries of which these women are made part of the decision making.  Court judgments and decisions are considered interpretations of the law and usually form part of the law of the land until they actually become actually part of the expressed legislations in many countries. Thusm directly it could be said that the women judges influences as far as the modern law is concerned is made possible by extent of participation in the discharge of administration of justice.2.2 Unique influences of women judges in the decisions of which they are a partThe present laws therefore of countries in whatever form they may also be deduced to have the influences of women judges who became part of the decision making of courts or judicial tribunals.   Matthews (1998) explained some of these unique influences of the women judges that could be by the recognition for the need for the more women judges in the judiciary based on two main reasons.   Her first reason is related to the perception of the judicial system and the second is how the system operates. She  firmly believed that the community generally would have greater confidence in the judiciary when the court system and the “capacity to deal humanely and sensitively with issues reflecting a full range of life experiences of judges themselves had a greater range of life’s experiences.”  She presented that at that time in Australia, the greater amount of judges come from a very limited segment of the community.Her argument for a more representative judiciary has relation to the operation of the law. Matthews (1998) quoted Dame Bertha Wilson’s celebrated paper “Will Women Judges Really Make a Difference?” by stressing the law in its most of its aspects, is based on common sense and fairness. She explained that the characteristics of gender or otherwise, of judicial officers, will in most cases, make no difference to the outcome of cases or the process by which the outcome is reached. But she said, there are some cases that involve gender sensitivities where women judges might well be more attuned to the issues involved that will necessarily have an effect on the process and the outcome.In trying to make her point make a great deal of sense, she posited that the whole humanity including men and women are the produce of life experiences and that she revealed the acknowledgement made that judges particularly appellate judges are in the daily process of making the law. She was of course referring to imposition of judges’  own values which are in turn molded their life’s experiences.  Matthews (2008) emphasized that women’s life experiences do differ from that of men and that women judges are more probably more sensitive to gender I including other aspects of human condition.In fairness to men, it could not be argued that men are less just than women when it comes to many decided cases. A number of studies in the US revealed that there has been no shown difference between the outcomes of cases heard by men and women in economic rights or criminal cases. A significant difference in discrimination cases were however noted with women being more sensitive indeed to the discrimination issues debated upon and resolved (Matthews, 1998). Justice Matthews was then there would be fewer disputes about the need for more representative women in matters of appointments to the courts so that could be representative of the community of both men and women at large.Matthews was not however saying that merit should be sacrificed should just to have a higher percentage of women to the judiciary in producing amore diverse judiciary.  She is also not suggesting either that to appoint more women to the courts will to dilute the merit principle.2.3.  Influences on Modern Law based on chances for appointment.The influence of women judges on modern law depends first on their chances to be appointed as judges.  This part now examines some countries about the chances of women  being appointed to judicial positions and related issues.2.3.1 Problem in the appointment of judges in AustraliaJustice Jane Matthews of Australia had a chance to speak with a China’s newly formed judicial college in Beijing where she talked about aspects of the Australian legal system which had a human right component. She noted that the most dramatic part of the Chinese legal system and society was the extent of transition which is has undergone. Although arguing that China was literally lawless more than 20 years then as the law then was a tool to repress where the lower classes were kept down by the upper class, the justice did took time to talk about startling aspects of change done in china in matter of legal system (Matthews, 1998) .Matthews (2008) found herself ashamed to the Chinese judges, with whom she talked to,  when these judges have expressed a degree of interest about the position of women in the Australia judiciary. She knew the Australian judges fared poorly compared with the Chinese in numerical terms. Although Matthews has known from sources that there are few women on higher court of China she was sure that that there are more judges in China than in Australia.Matthews lamented the limited number of women in the Australian judiciary particularly in superior courts. She cited about only one woman on the High Court, 4 in the Federal court and 12 in Family Court. She had a total of 26 women judges out of 223 judges. She pointed out that in the courts of general jurisdiction there  are 13 women out the 180 judges or about 7% of the total. If one would relate to the ratio of women and men to total population, in case there could be even higher ratios of women with men, then one could see the under representation of women which may indicate some semblance of lack of equality if not an obvious discrimination against the female sexes.2.3.2  Other countries experiences of women judges including those in Muslim CourtsShah (n.d.) noted about the less non-use or lack of preference of women judges on the past so that in an study conducted the author noted an evolving practice where women judges are now permitted in Muslim Courts. Shad (n.d.) concluded the author’s own study made by stating about the lack of prohibition of in the Qur’an against the appointment of women to the office of judgeship. Being aware of an earlier jumhur opinion that women cannot be appointed to a judicial office, Shah (n.d.) concluded that certain approaches may be taken against such opinion. As an example, she cited the Hanafi opinion that women can now be appointed as judges in family law cases as now possible in Malaysia, Indonesia and Syariah Courts.  The author pointed out that about the sad situation of women in modern Muslim societies to be contradictory to the teachings of Islam. Thus it was also concluded that subordination of women based on the view that women are inferior to men was not in accordance with the Islamic perspective but was only a reflection of the then prevailing condition during medieval times (Shad, n.d.). 2.3.3 The US experienceThe reality of having more men than women is also notable in the United States as in other countries.  Grossman, J. (2005)  confirmed about the appointment of a woman justice to the US Supreme Court that the latter’s confirmation would still be a  good thing for women.  She was of course basing the US reality despite the big increase in the number of women graduating from law school and entering the legal profession, where she noted that overwhelmingly the law leadership positions as could be found in the judiciary are occupied by more men than women (Grossman, 2005).  The case United States v. Virginia et al., 518 U.S. 515 (1996) also showed the very relevant participation of woman judge as the issue was gender sensitive where the US Supreme Court ruled that a public institution could not deny women the right to study on the pretext that it is exclusive for male. The court held by asserting that  parties who want to defend a gender-based government action must show “exceedingly persuasive justification citing as an example the case of  Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, 458, US 718, 724. 3. Conclusion: Women judges have shown their influences on Modern Law in relation to how they are represented in the matter of appointment to judicial positions. It could be also be concluded that their more representative appointment to said positions should be given due considerable attention by appointing authorities as there indeed gender sensitive issues that could be best addressed to having more judges appointed in position.Allowing therefore more women an equal chance to have judicial positions as that the men would result to better modern laws that would address more fairly both success and thus will promote equality of both sexes before the law or reduced possible bias against women if there are still any.