Warwick Law gets involved in the Scottish Feminist Judgment Project
Having secured funding from The Clark Foundation, Warwick Law School’s Professor Vanessa Munro will join with Professor Sharon Cowan and Dr Chloe Kennedy from the University of Edinburgh in undertaking a Scottish Feminist Judgment Project.
Following the successful completion of similar projects in other jurisdictions, including England and Wales, contributors to the Scottish Project will re-imagine and re-write key judgments of the courts within that jurisdiction from a feminist perspective.
Vanessa says “I am delighted to be involved with this project. Having written a Feminist Judgment for the England and Wales project, I know what a difficult task it can be to take on the role and voice of a feminist judge, but the successes of these projects in other jurisdictions highlights the power that they can harness in order to confront and challenge legal orthodoxy.”
The aim of the study is to highlight the difference that feminism (in all its diversity) can have on judgments made in the legal system and the path of law. Feminist Judgment Projects have had a profound effect in other jurisdictions, providing a powerful teaching resource for students, and compelling legal practitioners and academics to reconsider key judgments from a critical perspective. Scotland is a nation with a distinctive legal tradition and a unique political identity (both before and after devolution).
This project will give voice to feminist work in Scotland in a very concrete way, and bring Scottish feminism into closer dialogue with its Feminist Judgment counterparts across the globe. Through a series of workshops, participants will provide alternative judgments in key Scottish cases, which will be commented on by other academics, practitioners and third sector stakeholders. There will also be a number of artistic contributors to the project who will use mediums such as photography, textiles, poetry and theatre to provide alternative lenses through which to challenge the processes and outcomes of legal judgment.
“Law is perceived to be unbiased, but human beings are actively objective” says Professor Sharon Cowan, from Edinburgh University. “There is always room for change in law, as long as the boundaries are respected that law imposes. This study aims to look into these avenues for changing our perception of the law, whilst still remaining firmly in the boundaries of our legal system.”
Vanessa adds “We believe it will help students, especially in the way they engage with the law at an academic level, helping them learn how to criticise, analyse and question the original judgment found in certain cases. I am excited to see what we can bring to the conversation as Scottish Feminist Judges over the next 18 months."
IMAGES: Taken at a workshop with the Scottish Feminist Judgment Project contributors, in which techniques were used to explore the concepts of judgment and feminism.
Techniques from Theatre of the Oppressed with the help of Edinburgh Theatre Company, Active Inquiry.