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Seeking Portia and the Duke: Male and Female Judges Dispensing Justice in Paternity Cases in Morocco

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Chapter Summary

This chapter asks whether there is a difference in the way male and female judges dispense justice in paternity dispute cases in Morocco, one of the first Arabic-speaking countries to appoint women as judges. Building on recent fieldwork in different courts in Morocco, it provides ethnographic detail to a hotly debated scholarly issue, namely whether men and women have different ‘voices’ in the way they dispense justice. This chapter concludes that both male and female judges adhere to a rule-based adjudicatory style, with male judges being slightly more inclined to authorize the use of DNA testing to solve paternity dispute claims.



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