'Right Thinking People' and Suffering Through the Politics of Difference in Northern Ireland: A Feminist Judgment
Chapter in Máiréad Enright, Julie McCandless and Aoife O’Donoghue (eds.) Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges’ Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity (Hart Publishing, 2016), Forthcoming
25 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 10, 2015
This paper forms part of the Northern/Ireland Feminist Judgments Project. It comes in two parts: a feminist judgment and an accompanying commentary. The purpose of a Feminist Judgments Project is to rewrite the “missing” feminist judgments in significant legal cases. A driver of the methodology is to put feminist theory and critique into action, and to show how cases could have been reasoned and/or decided differently. The case in this chapter is a clinical negligence claim against a fertility clinic, which carelessly used the wrong donor sperm in a woman’s IVF treatment (A and B (by C, their mother and next friend) v A (Health and Social Services Trust)  NICA 28). The consequences of this mistake were that the children born from the fertility treatment had different skin colour to the woman and her husband, as well as each other. The claim was from the children, as the clinic settled out-of-court with the parents. Julie McCandless’ feminist judgment deploys very different reasoning to the original court decisions, and in part reaches a different conclusion. Marian Duggan’s commentary explains and problematizes the approach of the feminist judgment, as well as putting the broader identity issues signalled by the case in context.
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