CRCJ 3003 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Feminist Legal Theory, Harm Principle, Class Conflict

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CRCJ 3003
Oct 21
Importance and function of theory
-theory helps to keep us in context, what prupose the material serves and who created the data
-when lawyers read legislation and cases, knowledge of theories allows them to understand hwo the law
was created and what
-theory will affect how you look at your topic and how your research will be framed
-contemporary legal theories acknowledge that law does not come from God but from human decisions.
Liberal Legal Theory
-serves as philosophical foundation that legitimizes neo liberal capitalism
-rationalizes modern law and policing in Canada
-state law is said to be legitimate governance because it is founded by the public.
-Legislators are voted in
-Adherence to precedence, formality.
-thought that judge act impartially
-assumes most people are free choosing individual that are independent from the community.
-individualise self. Designed to maximize freedom that is available to individual.
-liberty and equality should reign
-each person should be able to pursue all ambitions
-state should be indifferent in what is “good life”. Good life should be free to choose for individual
-key functions of law is to facilitate life. Providing rules of interaction. Ex: contaract law helps to do
trade.
-must regulate interactions
-law must find out when one persons actions have infringes on another rights and punish that person
-harm principle.
-should maximize autonomy of the individual.
Marxist
-Rejects liberal
-law constantly maintains inequality.
-law favours capitalist ruling over working.
-Marx never wrote often on law, however neo Marxist applied his insights to law after his death.
-criticism: always ties everything back to capitalism
-law is closely related to power, state domination and mainting class hierarchy.
-we have to sell our labour to survive.
-owners have monopoly on domination control. Control of labour production as well.
-law is a bi product of class conflict. Keeps working class in line.
-legalisation of politics is never for trade unions.
-legal reform is not possible. In order to change this system you need a revolution.
Feminist legal theory
-women have been kept out of political and legal system so its vey male oriented
-changes recently have allowed more gender oriented approaches to law.
-looks at connection between law and gender.
-social institutions are inherently discriminatory towards women
-political commitment to change patriarchal society.
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