Feminist Judgments Projects at the Intersection

Gayoye, Martha, Hunter, Mateenah, Manji, Ambreena, Matinda, Miriam, Sekalala, Sharifah, Chaudhary, Rachna, Lammasniemi, Laura, Munoth, Shreya, Prabhat, Devyani, Sen, Jhuma, Black, Gillian, Cowan, Sharon, Kennedy, Chloe and Munro, Vanessa E. (2021) Feminist Judgments Projects at the Intersection. Feminist Legal Studies, 29. pp. 251-261. ISSN 09663622

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On 25th and 26th July 2019, ten members of the African, Indian and Scottish Feminist Judgments Projects (FJPs), comprised of legal academics and legal practitioners, met at Edinburgh Law School in Scotland. We were also joined at various points in our discussions by a number of invited guests from the Scottish academic, legal and feminist activist communities. In the context of ongoing global conversations across diverse FJPs, the purpose of our meeting was to explore the connections between these three then in-progress FJPs, to reflect on the experience of being involved in an FJP within our respective jurisdictions, and to discuss both the pitfalls and possibilities for creating legacies in teaching, scholarship and practice (see also Cowan et al. 2018).

Each of these three FJPs was at a different stage when we met. The Scottish Feminist Judgments Project (SFJP) was nearing its completion, having commenced some two years previously. This volume of rewritten judgments has now been published (Cowan et al. 2019). The Indian Feminist Judgments Project (IFJP) had organised two workshops, compiled a first volume—to be published as a journal special issue—and had made plans for additional outputs to follow. A curriculum for the teaching of a bespoke module based around the IFJP in universities had also been developed. Meanwhile, the African Feminist Judgments Project (AFJP) was still in its early conception phase. AFJP participants had met twice in the latter half of 2018 to discuss the scope of the project and to present some of their proposed feminist rewrites. Ultimately, what is envisaged is a pan-African feminist judgments project, but the AFJP has always sought to be modest about its capacity to represent the complexity and plurality of the continent; and as a starting point, for several reasons including language logistics and patterns of expressed interest, the current round of rewrites is focused mostly on eastern and southern Africa, and some African Commission cases.

In this paper, we give an account of some of the conversations that took place during that two-day workshop, which we think may be of interest and value to others in the feminist community, particularly but not solely if they are engaged in FJPs. Specifically, we discuss questions of how best to celebrate and use, but also constructively build upon and perhaps even push beyond, the legacies of earlier FJPs; the difficulties of re-affirming common law traditions imposed from the outside in the process of writing feminist judgments, and the particular challenges that this poses in a post-colonial context; the use within FJPs of ‘gender’ as a category through which to interrogate and redress historical inequalities; the ability of FJPs in general, and these projects in particular, to cast new light on long-standing methods within feminist legal theory; the concept of feminist lawyering; and the potential for critical engagement with the legal profession. In the final section, we also briefly explore some tentative ideas for future collaboration to promote further dialogue between FJPs across the world.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Feminist Judgments | FJPs
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Gender Studies
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Shilpi Rana
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2021 10:19
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2022 14:01
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10691-021-09450-w
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/71


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