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Feminist Legal Engagements towards a Transformative Justice

Krishnadas, Jane



Menon’s foundational book ‘Recovering Subversion, Feminist Politics Beyond the Law’ (2004) presents a critical feminist postcolonial contribution to deconstruct the concept of universal rights and law as a tool of constructing and safeguarding the autonomous individual legal subject within a constructed public and private legal framework; to ask whether feminist legal engagements can be transformative? This question has become critical in relation to Menon’s recent silencing of women’s voices in ‘The List’ on the basis of not engaging with the long-term feminist struggle for ‘due process’, yet seemingly contradicting her own commitment to ‘think creatively about new forms of political engagement that are located in realms we have not seriously engaged with’ (p.239). This chapter maps how Menon’s book has informed my ‘transformative methodology’ (Krishnadas, 2008), to centre and listen to women’s experience, and to dismantle the processes and systems which marginalise and erode women’s voices. This methodology challenges and reconstructs conceptions of agency, capacity and location of the rights bearer within the plurality of legal systems, beyond ‘due process’, to highlight what may be understood as the most invaluable tool in feminist critical theory; to listen to the plurality of women’s voices to create new agencies, capacity and spaces to transform justice.

Acceptance Date Oct 12, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 23, 2021
Publication Date Mar 23, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2023
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 99-109
Book Title Leading Works in Law and Social Justice
Chapter Number 7