From 2010 to 2020, a dissenter at the Court of Appeal was a very strong indicator that reversal was likely in criminal cases at the Supreme Court.  Overall, divided decisions were reversed at nearly double the rate of unanimous ones: 75.51% to 41.48%.  Divided decisions were more likely to be reversed than unanimous ones in eight of the eleven most recent years, with particularly lopsided numbers in 2010 (100% divided decisions to 29.85% unanimous ones); 2011 (100% to 22.73%); 2013 (100% to 38.64%); 2014 (66.67% to 42.31%); 2016 (100% to 53.06%); 2018 (60% to 33.33%) and 2020 (71.43% to 42.86%).

Across the entire thirty-one-year period from 1990 to 2020, 74.84% of criminal cases with a dissenter below were reversed at the Supreme Court.  Only 40.91% of unanimous decisions were reversed.

Join us back here next time as we continue our review of the Court’s decisions.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ken Lund (no changes).