The Effect of Nationality & Gender on Judicial Decision-Making in the Israeli Court

Duration of Research: 2000-2005

Funding Agency: No funding - free access to data in courts archives was given by the courts administration in Israel.

Gideon Fishman (P.I.)
Arye Rattner (P.I.)
Hagit Turjeman (Research Coordinator)

Project Description:
The purpose of the study has been to study the effect group affiliation, national or gender - has on judicial decisions. In addition the study allowed us also to determine the effect of private vs. public defense (controlling for nationality) on the criminal trial outcome.

The study consists of criminal files obtained from the two district courts in the northern region of Israel, Haifa and Nazareth. A total of 1,394 records of violent cases were collected and coded for the purpose of this study, representing all the files of violent cases accumulated between the years 1985 and 2000. The uniqueness of this study was that each file contained detailed information about the offender and information about the judge, the victim, the prosecutor, and the outcome of the trial and the study was able to determine the effects of all three simultaneously.


Rattner Arye; Turjeman Hagit; Fishman Gideon. (Forthcoming). "Public versus private defense: Can money buy justice?" Journal of Criminal Justice.
Fishman Gideon, Rattner Arye, Turjeman Hagit. (2006). "Sentencing outcomes in a multinational society: When judges, defendants, and victims can be either Arabs or Jews". European Journal of Criminology 3(1): 69-84.