Learning legal reasoning while rejecting the oxymoronic status of feminist judicial rationalities: a view from the law classroom
Grear, A. (2012). Learning legal reasoning while rejecting the oxymoronic status of feminist judicial rationalities: a view from the law classroom. The Law Teacher, 46(3), 239-254.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7086
One misconception accompanying the idea of a feminist judgment is that feminist judgment is inherently at odds with the putative neutrality of the "judge" as a "neutral" adjudicator. Many lawyers, scholars and law students tend to assume that when deliberating as a judge, feminism(s) simply has/have no rightful or rational place, relevance or bearing upon the process or the outcome and that such a "non-neutral" view will necessarily deviate from the standard canons of judicial reasoning by embodying an unacceptable bias. Introducing students to the "grammar" of reasoning in an undergraduate course dedicated to both general critical reasoning and legal reasoning, however, presented an ideal opportunity for students to encounter in greater intimacy the interpretive openness of law and the indeterminacies that argument alone can never ultimately resolve without recourse to deeper positional commitments. By stepping into the role of judge, having studied the techniques, inherent malleability and limitations of legal argument, students could explore for themselves the range of argumentatively defensible interpretations and outcomes possible in any given legal case. In the process, the students could appreciate not only the open textured nature of judgment and legal reasoning more richly, but also see the "rationality" of feminist judgment as a fully plausible alternative to non-feminist "rationality" and judgment.
The Association of Law Teachers
- Law Papers