The Direct Voice in Legal Discussions on Equality: An Essay

University of British Columbia Law Review, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 181-204, 2011

24 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2011

See all articles by Bruce MacDougall

Bruce MacDougall

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

There are certain areas of law where it assists a scholar (and perhaps to an extent a lawyer) to have an overtly and directly personal stake in the legal discussion or debate in which he or she engages. When engaging in such a discussion in this personal way, the participant uses a "direct" voice. To be distinguished from this type of participant is a person who, while interested intellectually or politically, does not have the same personal stake in the outcome of the discussion or debate. This person has an "indirect" voice; in fact, in most legal discussions, most participants have indirect voices. Legal discourse is historically characterized by this detached perspective. The indirect voice is the ordinary role for both the lawyer and the scholar in legal debates and discussions.

In this essay, the author reflects on the advantages and disadvantages of the direct voice. He explores some of the unrealistic assumptions associated with the direct voice and the consequent limitations on the voice. In addition, he considers how the role and even the need for a direct voice changes as the discussions in which it participates conclude or the context in which the discussions occur alter.

Keywords: Legal Scholarship

Suggested Citation

MacDougall, Bruce, The Direct Voice in Legal Discussions on Equality: An Essay (2011). University of British Columbia Law Review, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 181-204, 2011 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1884446

Bruce MacDougall (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada

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