Comparing Whose Laws? Interrogating Biases in Comparative Law and Scholarship Through the Lens of Domestic Violence Workplace Leave

26 Pages Posted: 22 May 2024

See all articles by Ramona Vijeyarasa

Ramona Vijeyarasa

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Date Written: February 18, 2024

Abstract

This article invites comparative scholars to reflect on the biases that bury legislative good practice. These biases and their consequences are demonstrated through the example of paid workplace leave for victims of domestic violence, comparing laws enacted between the Philippines’ reforms in 2004 and more recent developments in New Zealand (2018) and Australia (2022). Three reasons for these legislative biases are offered, the foremost being an English language ‘imperialism’ where good practice legislation from Spain and Latin America has been overlooked. Second, a global ‘gender equality bias’ has framed global North nations – particularly traditionally-influential Nordic ones – as world leaders, with other even highly ranked global South countries ignored. Finally, feminist international scholarship has inadvertently fostered a perception of the global South as lacking women-centred law reform from which other jurisdictions can learn. To support these claims, in Part 3, three models for workplace leave for victims of violence are presented, a review that takes us from the Philippines and Spain to eight Spanish-speaking jurisdictions, valuable models enacted before these English-speaking nations that have been deemed legislative ‘leaders’ in this domain. This article urges scholars of comparative law to see the potential for meaningful findings to be drawn from cross-border, multi-linguistic comparisons, which require an active consciousness of the biases that must be overcome.

Keywords: domestic violence, workplace leave, comparative law, multi-linguistic, linguistic bias

JEL Classification: J,K,L

Suggested Citation

Vijeyarasa, Ramona, Comparing Whose Laws? Interrogating Biases in Comparative Law and Scholarship Through the Lens of Domestic Violence Workplace Leave (February 18, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4834160 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4834160

Ramona Vijeyarasa (Contact Author)

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) ( email )

NSW 2007
Australia

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