Review Essay: Why (Re)Write Judgments?

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 37, pp.457-466, 2015

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 15-29

11 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2015

See all articles by Heather Roberts

Heather Roberts

ANU College of Law

Laura Sweeney

NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby

Date Written: December 7, 2015


Australian Feminist Judgments is a collection of fictional judgments for real Australian cases that have been rewritten by Australian scholars from the perspective of a feminist judge. Each judgment is introduced by a commentary, written by a different scholar, explaining the legal and historical context of the original decision and the choices made by the feminist judge. This review essay locates the collection within more general debates surrounding judgment writing, particularly leading Australian extra-judicial commentary on how and why judgments are written. Against this larger plane, we consider a number of the key issues raised by the collection about judgment writing, including the significance of recounting the facts of a case, the uses of formalist judicial method and the capacity of judgments to effect change. Drawing on a number of examples from the collection, this review essay contends that Australian Feminist Judgments makes a valuable contribution not only to contemporary feminist debates, but also to issues going to the heart of judicial practices and judgment.

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Heather and Sweeney, Laura, Review Essay: Why (Re)Write Judgments? (December 7, 2015). Sydney Law Review, Vol. 37, pp.457-466, 2015, ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 15-29, Available at SSRN:

Heather Roberts (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200

Laura Sweeney

NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby ( email )

PO Box 304
Glebe, New South Wales

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