In France, a civil-law country, disputes relating to marital dissolution are heard in the Family Chambers of the Superior Courts (Chambres de la famille des Tribunaux de Grande instance) by a single judge (a family court judge). As the judiciary becomes more feminized, the question of what influence a judge's gender has over rulings in family cases has become a controversial topic and a media hobbyhorse, under mounting pressure from fathers’ rights organizations. Using the results of a collective survey conducted in four Superior Courts between 2008 and 2010, this article shows that male and female family court judges do not have the same personal and professional paths into the profession and do not take up their jobs under the same circumstances or at the same points in their careers, and thus perceive their roles in quite different ways. Despite all these differences, there is great homogeneity in these judges’ decisions, regardless of their sex.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Gender, Justice, Career paths, Judiciary, Marital dissolutions, Feminization
|☆|| First published in French: Le juge est (souvent) une femme. Conceptions du métier et pratiques des magistrates et magistrats aux Affaires familiales. Sociologie du travail 55 (3), 341-368. Translation: John Crisp.