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Title: Feminism and the legislative modernisation of Scots criminal law and justice
Author: Cairns, Ilona Catherine MacDonald
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 1643
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the legislative modernisation of Scots criminal law and justice through a feminist lens. The primary research question that it sets out to answer is whether the legislative modernisation of Scots criminal law and justice – understood as a process that involves increased reliance on legislation and a movement away from the Scottish common law tradition – can meet feminist aims. This thesis approaches this question from a theoretical and practical standpoint, and considers both whether individual, specific areas of Scots criminal law and justice (most notably the corroboration requirement and the partial defence of provocation) can be modernised in a way that is agreeable from a feminist perspective, and whether overall legislative modernisation is likely to be met with feminist approval. Particular attention is paid to feminist ideas about legislative reform, and to the work of feminist legal theorists who have challenged the 'traditional' presentation of law as neutral, autonomous, determinate and self-contained. The relationship between feminism, legal positivism and legal formalism is explored in detail. The central argument of this thesis is that feminist voices should be heard, accurately represented and responded to as the nature, content and form of Scots criminal law and justice continues to evolve and change. This thesis therefore also addresses how the Scottish Government has engaged with feminist ideas to date, and considers what formal policies or procedures are currently in place in Scotland that would facilitate, or hamper, the inclusion of feminist ideas as legislative modernisation continues to occur. In this regard, current 'mainstreaming' practices in Scotland are analysed in some depth. Ultimately, this thesis reaches conclusions that challenge assumptions about the progressiveness of legislative reform and the consequences of the Scottish Government introducing legislation in areas of paradigmatic feminist concern, and the extent to which across-the-board legislative modernisation will have a positive impact on the status of women.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Criminal law ; Feminism