McCandless, Enright & O’Donoghue: Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments

Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments is a compilation of landmark Irish court cases that impacted the rights of women, children, and queer people in the country. In the foreword, the editors Julie McCandless, Mairead Enright, and Aofie O’Donoghue, clarify that this book explores Irish and Northern Irish judgments—making the distinction between the two jurisdictions and their respective cultures. “For brevity’s sake,” however, they refer to the cases as Irish judgments. In each chapter, the reader is given a background of the case—information about the people involved as well as pre-established laws, judgments, and norms that would impact the outcome of the case. Then, the actual outcome of the case is revealed, and often includes excerpts from the original judgment. This is followed by a feminist judgment that is written from a feminist perspective though in the context of the laws of that time. This book offers a unique take on the legality of judgments that negatively impacted gender and sexual minorities. Further, it eliminates the “it was a different time” argument as an excuse for misogyny in the judicial system. The work as a whole is best summarized by the words of the editors themselves: “while other feminist judgment projects have explored the gendered political implications of judicial law-making, they have not focused explicitly on judges’ political agency, a key dimension of which involves judicial entanglement in government projects of nation identity.” (Enright, McCandless, and O’Donoghue 2017, 10)


Enright, Máiréad, Julie McCandless, and Aoife O’Donoghue. 2017. Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments. 1st ed. Oxford and Portland: Hart Publishing.


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