Feminist approaches to socio-legal studies
Feminist approaches to socio-legal studies combine feminist theory with concern about the operation and effects of law. Both of these elements may be quite varied, and both have evolved over time to embrace new theoretical and socio-legal developments. Within the diverse and changing body of feminist socio-legal work, this chapter focuses on a particular example of an emerging feminist socio-legal approach, the practice of rewriting judgments from a feminist perspective. Over the past decade, feminist judgment projects have been conducted in a number of common law jurisdictions, including Canada, the USA, Ireland, England and Wales, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. These projects have inaugurated a new form of socio-legal scholarship that seeks to demonstrate in a sustained and disciplined way how judgments could have been written and cases could have been decided differently. As such, they use an innovative methodology to interrogate and contest the practice of judicial decision-making and to bring knowledge of gendered social experience to the process of judging.