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Thematic Issue: Law and Economics/General

A Data Driven Approach to Evaluating and Improving Judicial Decision-Making: Statistical Analysis of the Judicial Review of Refugee Cases in Australia


Daniel Ghezelbash, Keyvan Dorostkar and Shannon Walsh

This article presents analysis of a database of over 6,700 applications for judicial review of refugee cases in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. The data reveals that the rate at which applications for judicial review are accepted by the Court varies widely based on the judge who hears the case and a number of other factors. While our findings are not necessarily a matter for concern, we argue that they do raise questions around the potential influence of cognitive and social biases in judicial decision-making, as well as in relation to the case management and resourcing of the Court. Drawing on recent research in the field of cognitive and behavioural sciences, we outline how statistics of the nature collected in our study could inform interventions and reforms aimed at addressing such biases and increase public confidence in the judicial system.

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(2022) 45(3) UNSWLJ 914: