Two Papers on Judicial Bias in India

Data-driven research into the Indian judicial system is still at a nascent phase but Ash et al and Bharti and Roy’s papers suggest exciting possibilities.

Two papers studying bias in judicial decision-making in India using large data sets have come to very different conclusions. One examines bail decisions and finds that childhood exposure to communal riots seems to influence whether a judge is likely to grant bail. The other examines convictions and finds no trace of similar bias on grounds of religion or gender. Both papers shed light, in different ways, on the working of India’s legal system and are not necessarily contradictory.

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