Rewriting Judgments: Feminism in Action

07 October 2016

New Zealand lawyers and legal academics are part of a global project in which they are challenged to think about the law in a different way to rewrite key judgments.

Rewriting Judgments: Feminism in Action

Associate Professor Elisabeth McDonald, project co-convenor, Victoria University of Wellington School of Law, will discuss Feminist Judgments Project Aotearoa: Te Rino along with four UC academic law experts in an upcoming UC Connect panel discussion at the University of Canterbury.

New Zealand lawyers and legal academics are part of a global project in which they are challenged to think about the law in a different way to rewrite key judgments.

Feminist Judgments Project Aotearoa: Te Rino (the two-stranded rope) is the unique local contribution to the growing collection of international publications containing rewritten judicial decisions and is the subject of an upcoming panel discussion at the University of Canterbury. 

Questions explored include:

  • What would judicial decisions look like if written from a feminist perspective?
  • Can theory be put into practice in judgment form?

In the Feminist Judgments Project Aotearoa: Te Rino, researchers write alternative judgments in a number of significant New Zealand cases across a broad range of legal issues. These new judgments will operate as both a critique of common law method as well as a practical demonstration of how different ways of approaching a decision-making task is possible.

The task for the authors of the reimagined judgments is to re-write the original decision using feminist reasoning, but limited by the precedents, statutory authority, conventions and social and political commentary and research that existed at that time.

This project will not re-cast the law with the benefit of changed understandings and theorising about gender, sex, equality and rights, but rather will produce powerful illustrations that feminist reasoning and feminist-informed outcomes were possible even at the time of the original judgment.

This project is inspired by the feminist projects successfully undertaken in other jurisdictions, but will be unique given the social, cultural and legal context of Aotearoa.

This panel discussion will feature a number of the project’s contributors, including:

  • Associate Professor Elisabeth McDonald, project co-convenor, Victoria University of Wellington School of Law
  • Dr Rhonda Powell, project co-convenor, UC School of Law
  • Dean of Law Professor Ursula Cheer, UC School of Law
  • Associate Professor Annick Masselot, UC School of Law
  • Senior Lecturer Natalie Baird, UC School of Law

 

UC Connect public lecture: Rewriting Judgments: Feminism in Action, 7pm on Tuesday 11 October at University of Canterbury’s Central Lecture Theatre.

Register to attend at: www.canterbury.ac.nz/ucconnect

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168 | margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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