The Critical Judgments Project: Re-Reading Monis v the Queen
28 Oct 2016
This book introduces students to a number of critical legal perspectives and demonstrates how such perspectives might be used to influence and reimagine existing legal doctrines. It extends the seminal Feminist Judgments Project and adapts it specifically for the purpose of teaching critical legal thinking. Each chapter provides extracts and commentary on the prominent thinkers within the critical discipline before a leading critical scholar rewrites the judgment in the famous 2013 decision of the High Court of Australia, Monis v The Queen, informed and reimagined through this perspective. The case required the High Court to engage with deep issues about the role of free speech in democracy, the appropriate role of the state in regulating civility of discourse and protecting vulnerable groups, and the ongoing influence of gender and race in approaching these issues. The decision was the first in which the Court split over the relevant issues along gender lines. The saliency of the identity of the judges in the case makes it natural for introducing students to the idea that who judges are, and how they understand notions of constitutional justice, may matter to the resolution of concrete constitutional questions. The book builds on the seminal work undertaken in the Feminist Judgments Project by pluralising not just the feminist critique, but the wider range of critical perspectives brought to the judicial method. The critical perspectives in this project include feminism and the public-private divide, anti-subordination feminism, critical race theory, queer theory/post-structural feminism, law and literature, political liberalism, intersectional theory, law and economics, restorative justice and deliberative democratic theory.