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NCJ Number: 140245 Find in a Library
Title: Gender Inequity in Australian Courts
Journal: Criminology Australia  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:(April/May 1992)  Pages:10-12
Author(s): P Easteal
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 3
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This article examines the role of gender in court decisions in Australia.
Abstract: The author begins by noting the successful use of battered woman syndrome (BWS) in the United States, as a defense for battered women who have killed their abusers. Likewise, in Canada and the United Kingdom, women have had their sentences mitigated or their charges reduced upon presentation of evidence concerning their premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In Australia, however, such evidence has been introduced neither as a defense, nor as a mitigating factor, until very recently. In examining the role of gender in Australia's courts, the author notes that the courts merely reflect the prevailing views of society, which are patriarchal. The author also notes that use of the BWS and PMS defence is controversial not only among the patriarchy but also among some feminists, who feared that all women would be stereotyped as unstable and that the role played by the abusive male would be diminished. However, the author believes that equality, both within the law and society, should recognize individual experiences through a subjective perspective that is neither monolithic nor dichotomous with respect to gender. 1 reference
Main Term(s): Battered woman syndrome; Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Index Term(s): Court personnel attitudes; Cross-cultural analyses; Defense; Gender issues
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