Feminist Perspectives On Criminal Law Essay

2074 Words Apr 21st, 2015 null Page
It is plausible that adopting feminist approaches to criminal law consequently lead to increased criminalisation. There are several distinct branches of feminism; many feminists campaign for legal reform, leading to changes in the law . Feminist jurisprudence argues that the justice system is a manifestation of patriarchy, which may be evident in the lack of female judges. Feminist research also includes criminal violence against women, particularly by men and of a sexual nature . The application of gender stereotypes is an obstruction in pivotal elements of law, such as mens rea, actus reus, liability defences and contentious judicial decisions. Feminism is also in discord with similar bodies of legal theory, such as liberalism .

‘Feminist jurisprudence’ was a term first coined in 1978 , intending to explicate how the law has been instrumental in creating an inferior social position for women. Feminism has an impact on both how the criminal law can be applied and how it should be made in order to reflect gender equality. A feminist perspective applies greater use of the law, for both the judgment of men by female judges and how a feminist might construct law to eliminate gender inequality.

Many feminist writers have been critical toward judicial impartiality. Particularly given that females are under-represented in the judiciary. Liberalists claim that the criminal justice system should not favour any gender, however, feminists argue that ‘liberal legalism’ is…

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