Teaching with Feminist Judgments: A Global Conversation
59 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2019 Last revised: 2 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 4, 2019
This conversational-style essay is an exchange among fourteen professors — representing thirteen universities across five countries — with experience teaching with feminist judgments. Feminist judgments are “shadow” court decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective, using only the precedent in effect and the facts known at the time of the original decision. Scholars in Canada, England, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, India and Mexico have published (or are currently producing) written collections of feminist judgments that demonstrate how feminist perspectives could have changed the legal reasoning or outcome (or both) in important legal cases.
This essay begins to explore the vast pedagogical potential of feminist judgments. The contributors to this conversation describe how they use feminist judgments in the classroom; how students have responded to the judgments; how the professors achieve specific learning objectives through teaching with feminist judgments; and how working with feminist judgments — whether studying them, writing them, or both — can help students excavate the multiple social, political, economic and even personal factors that influence the development of legal rules, structures, and institutions. The primary takeaway of the essay is that feminist judgments are a uniquely enriching pedagogical tool that can broaden the learning experience. Feminist judgments invite future lawyers, and indeed any reader, to re-imagine what the law is, what the law can be, and how to make the law more responsive to the needs of all people.
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