Review of the Self-Defence Review
Elizabeth Sheehy, “Review of the Self-Defence Review” (2000) 12 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 197
Posted: 4 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2000
Judge Lynn Ratushny's Self-Defence Review (SDR) of the cases of women convicted of homicide for killing violent male partners presents a significant opportunity for the integration of feminist activism and analysis into the legal understanding of self-defense, the legal system's complicity in male violence against women, and the violence of systemic racism. The author uses the objectives of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies to assess the work of the SDR, concluding that while the SDR accomplished some goals that could not have otherwise been achieved, the SDR was constrained by its political location and by the women's need for confidentiality such that many feminist aspirations were ultimately compromised.
Keywords: self-defence review, women convicted of homicide, killing male violent partners, feminist activism, systemic racism, women and confidentiality, feminist aspirations
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