Ottawa Men's Centre

 

Peter Roscoe's Research

 

 

 

                            

                        

               Gender Bias in Family Law at the

                 Court of Appeal Ontario 2007

 

 

 

 

 

  Peter Karl Roscoe

 

    Apr 2006, Revised Sept 2007

 

 

 

Part II                                  Discrimination by Issue

 

In Appendix B1 to B13, cases have been sorted by year. Totals for each issue can be calculated to give overall totals for the court. Averages values for the court and discrimination indexes for each category of issue may then be determined.

 

 

The database contained 442 family cases for 26 judges and 399 of them had data on cost penalties. 162 appeals were innitiated by females and 280 appeals by males.21 cross appeals were brought by women and 15 by men. The cases and their outcomes can be found in Appendix B1 to B13. A summary of all the decisions is as follows

 

 

Appellant

Custody

 Access

 Mobility

 Spousal

 Support

  Child

 Support

Equalization

Other

Costs

Number of Male Wins

     1

     6

     2

     23

     25

         17

    32

    59

Number of Males

   28

   24

    11

     93

     86

         73

   127

  384

 

 

Appellant

Custody

 Access

Mobility

 Spousal

 Support

  Child

 Support

Equalization

Other

Costs

Number of Female Wins

     9

     6

     6

      40

      22

         16

   36

    240

Number of Females

    14

    10

    10

      59

      40

         31

   73

    384

 

 

Summarized in percentage terms

 

 

Appellant

Custody

 Access

Mobility

 Spousal

 Support

  Child

 Support

Equalization

Other

Costs

% Chance of Male Win

     3.6

   25.0

    18.1

     24.7

    29.1

       23.2

  25.2

   15.4

% Chance of Female Win

   64.3

   60.0

    60.0

     67.8

    55.0

       51.6

  49.3

   62.5

 

 

It can be concluded that in the overall result including costs, a woman had a (375/621 x 100) 60.1 % chance of winning, and a man had a (165/826 x 100) 20.0 % chance of winning at the Court of Appeal. On appeal issues alone a woman had a (135/237 x 100) 57.0 % chance of winning, and a man had a (106/442 x 100) 24.0 % chance of winning.

 

 

Overall Discrimination Index = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 60.1 20.0 = 40.1 %

 

Appeal Issue Discrimination Index = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 57.0 24.0 = 33.0 %

 

Cost Discrimination Index = Overall Discrimination Index - Appeal Issue Discrimination Index

                                           = 40.1 33.0 = 7.1 %

 

 

Female / Male Wins = 60.3 / 20.0 = 3.0

 

Win Index = ( Female Wins + Male Wins ) / 2 = ( 60.3 + 20.0) / 2 = 80.3 / 2 = 40.2 %

 

Summary of Issue Data

 

 

 

 

Custody

 Access

Mobility

 Spousal

 Support

  Child

 Support

Equalization

Other

Costs

Court Total

Female % Wins

   64.3

   60.0

    60.0

     67.8

    55.0

       51.6

  49.3

   62.5

  60.1

Male  % Wins

     3.6

   25.0

    18.1

     24.7

    29.1

       23.2

  25.2

   15.4

  20.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discrimination Index

   60.7

   35.0

   41.9

    43.1

    25.9

      28.4

  24.1

   47.1

  40.1

 

 

 

It can be concluded that inequity in decision on issues is highest in custody, mobility, spousal support and costs. It is lowest in child support, equalization, and other issues. On average women win 40.1 % more than men. When costs of the appeal are adjusted for actual wins and losses the Court of Appeal adds 7.1 % further inequity over its rulings on appeal issues through its cost rulings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percent of Issues Appealed

 

 

 

Appellant

Custody

 Access

Mobility

 Spousal

 Support

  Child

 Support

Equalization

Other

Male

     6.3

    5.4

     2.5

     21.0

    19.5

       16.5

  28.7

Female

     5.9

    4.2

     4.2

     24.9

    16.8

       13.0

  30.0

 

 

 

Total Appeals by Men and Women Including Cross Appeals = 477

 

Total Appeals by Men Including Cross Appeals = 301

 

% Appeals by Men = 301/ 477 x 100 = 63.1 %

 

% Appeals by Women = 36.9

 

Appeal Rate (Men / Women) = 63.1/ 36.9 = 1.7

 

 

 

It can be concluded that men appeal 1.7 times as often as women but lose 3 time for every female win. The issues men and women appeal are similar. Other, which is primarily composed of procedural issues including costs of the court below, were the most appealed issue category. Financial issues were generally the most appealed issues. Child issues were generally the least appealed issues.