A refugee from justice? Disparate treatment in the federal court of Canada

Jon B. Gould, Colleen Sheppard, Johannes Wheeldon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article paints a troubling picture of disparate treatment in the Federal Court of Canada. Examining more than 600 immigration and refugee claims, the results link judicial action to litigants' representation, their demographics and national region, and the background and ideology of the judges involved. When compared with prior research in Canada and similar studies from the United States, the findings suggest that an applicant in search of a just result would do as well to hire an experienced lawyer and hope for a sympathetic judge as to prepare an excellent appeal. Canada's immigration process requires greater attention so that the reality of its operation matches the promise of the nation's intentions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-486
Number of pages33
JournalLaw and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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