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Feminist challenges to the constraints of law : donning uncomfortable robes?

Fitz-Gibbon, Kate and Maher, JaneMaree 2015, Feminist challenges to the constraints of law : donning uncomfortable robes?, Feminist legal studies, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 253-271, doi: 10.1007/s10691-015-9292-6.

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Title Feminist challenges to the constraints of law : donning uncomfortable robes?
Author(s) Fitz-Gibbon, Kate
Maher, JaneMaree
Journal name Feminist legal studies
Volume number 23
Issue number 3
Start page 253
End page 271
Total pages 19
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Dodrecht, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-11
ISSN 0966-3622
1572-8455
Keyword(s) defensive homicide
feminist judgment
feminist practice
legal discourse
sentencing
Summary Legal judgment writing mobilises a process of story-telling, drawing on existing judicial discourses, precedents and practices to create a narrative relevant to the specific case that is articulated by the presiding judge. In the Feminist Judgments projects feminist scholars and activists have sought to challenge and reinterpret legal judgments that have disadvantaged, discriminated against or denied women’s experiences. This paper reflects on the process of writing as a feminist judge in the Australian Project, in an intimate homicide case, R v Middendorp. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler on intelligibility, iterability and the communality of violence and vulnerability, this article argues that feminist judgments necessarily require some uncomfortable compromises with unjust gendered institutions. While ‘donning the robes’ may be an uncomfortable process, a feminist re-articulation of the law’s carceral power serves to unsettle and challenge some aspects of gendered oppression, even though it cannot unsettle the operation of the institution. The article concludes that effective feminist interventions by members of the judiciary may require donning robes that are not entirely comfortable in order to persuade and advocate for change.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10691-015-9292-6
Field of Research 160203 Courts and Sentencing
Socio Economic Objective 940403 Criminal Justice
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Springer
Free to Read? Yes
Free to Read Start Date 2016-12-01
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078251

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.