Special Issue "Justice Connections"

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (7 January 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Patricia Easteal
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. School of Law and Justice, University of Canberra, Bruce ACT 2617, Australia
2. Legal Light Bulbs, Flynn ACT 2615, Australia
Interests: women and the law; domestic violence; sexual assault; workplace abuses; family law
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Simon Rice
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Law, Australian National University, 5 Fellows Road, Acton, ACT 2601, Australia
Interests: anti-discrimination law and policy; human rights law and policy; access to justice; law reform; lawyering and legal ethics; legal education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Laws will generate discussion and debate about both access to justice, and administration of the justice system. Most of the papers will be drawn from a one day Symposium to be held in Canberra on 20 November 2015, jointly by the University of Canberra and the Australian National University, although other relevant submissions will be considered. The issue will address four sub-themes, each a dimension of justice in society: violence, process, oppression and hope. Papers on justice and violence will examine examples of legal reform and policy planning designed to ameliorate violence. For justice and process, papers will explore the intersections of social justice and law reform bodies and civil law processes. Justice and oppression will feature papers on human rights violations, such as violence against women and issues that affect people with disabilities. For the fourth sub-theme, justice and hope, papers will evaluate programs in legal services and prisons that are intended to improve access to justice and rehabilitation.

Prof. Patricia Easteal
Prof. Simon Rice
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Laws is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • Access to Justice;
  • Administration of justice;
  • Justice and legal process;
  • Justice and violence;
  • Justice and human rights

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Can a Patriarchal World Be Corrected by a Criminal Law? Feminist Struggles, Penal Justice and Legal Reform in France (1970–1980)
Laws 2016, 5(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws5010012 - 04 Mar 2016
Viewed by 1861
Abstract
This article describes (1) the relationship between the demands made by feminist movements of the 1970s in cases of sexual violence and criticism of the criminal justice system by these movements and other groups, including the prisoners’ movement; and (2) the relationship between [...] Read more.
This article describes (1) the relationship between the demands made by feminist movements of the 1970s in cases of sexual violence and criticism of the criminal justice system by these movements and other groups, including the prisoners’ movement; and (2) the relationship between this debate and the legal process of reforming the definition and punishment of rape. Two periods are analyzed. In the early 1970s, the common cause of very different movements targeting the law was the priority given to the defense against forms of repression and disciplinary institutions. After 1975, the demands of feminist and prisoner movements diverged and even conflicted. One camp called for an offensive approach to changing the legal punishment of rape whereas the other camp fought against penal reforms imposed by the government and, more specifically, against long sentences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
Article
Feminist Jurisprudence, the Australian Legal System and Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: Fiction over Fact
Laws 2016, 5(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws5010011 - 02 Mar 2016
Viewed by 2220
Abstract
In this paper we briefly focus on intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) and the Australian legal response, using recent Court judgements and Heather Wishik’s feminist jurisprudence framework for inquiry to guide investigation. The key questions being asked are: (1) What have been and [...] Read more.
In this paper we briefly focus on intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) and the Australian legal response, using recent Court judgements and Heather Wishik’s feminist jurisprudence framework for inquiry to guide investigation. The key questions being asked are: (1) What have been and what are now all women’s experiences of IPSV addressed by the substance and process of rape law? (2) What assumptions, descriptions, assertions and/or definitions of consent, corroboration and reporting does the law make in IPSV matters? (3) What is the area of mismatch, distortion or denial created by the differences between women’s life experiences of IPSV coercion and the law’s assumptions or imposed structures? (4) What patriarchal interests are served by the mismatch? The paper concludes with consideration of the limitations and benefits of law reform by reflecting on the findings of the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
Article
Australia’s National Anti-Bullying Jurisdiction: Paper Tiger or Velvet Glove
Laws 2016, 5(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws5010004 - 15 Feb 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2211
Abstract
Australia’s innovative national anti-bullying legislation came into effect on 1 January 2014, against a backdrop of fear and resistance on the part of some conservative politicians and other stakeholder opponents. This paper contributes to an understanding of the efficacy and value of this [...] Read more.
Australia’s innovative national anti-bullying legislation came into effect on 1 January 2014, against a backdrop of fear and resistance on the part of some conservative politicians and other stakeholder opponents. This paper contributes to an understanding of the efficacy and value of this fledgling jurisdiction or its lack thereof. In it, we describe the beginnings of the anti-bullying regime, outline the new legislative provisions, explore whether the inaction of the first six months has continued, examine the statistics arising from the jurisdiction’s first 15 months of operation, and review the case law development over its first 18 months. We ask whether the anti-bullying jurisdiction is proving to be a paper tiger in an empty suit or iron fist in a velvet glove. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
Article
Explaining Patterns of Urban Violence in Medellin, Colombia
Laws 2016, 5(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws5010003 - 15 Feb 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4092
Abstract
Latin America is one of the world’s most violent regions, with 40 of the 50 most violent cities, but with only 8% of the world’s population, and a staggering 33% of global homicides. At the forefront of these high levels of violence are [...] Read more.
Latin America is one of the world’s most violent regions, with 40 of the 50 most violent cities, but with only 8% of the world’s population, and a staggering 33% of global homicides. At the forefront of these high levels of violence are gangs that are more flexible and persistent than previously thought. This paper provides a discussion on gangs in one Latin American city, Medellin, Colombia, where different non-state groups have contributed to changing patterns of homicide rates. The paper presents preliminary findings to show how, despite the city experiencing a 90% reduction in homicide rates in less than 25 years, violent non-state groups have become embedded as part and product of their environment, acting as coherent, logical and functional players, linked to the structural inequalities and institutional fragility of the larger society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
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Review

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Review
In the Best Interests of the Abuser: Coercive Control, Child Custody Proceedings and the “Expert” Assessments That Guide Judicial Determinations
Laws 2016, 5(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws5010014 - 10 Mar 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 10356
Abstract
This paper outlines why domestic violence (or more specifically, coercive control) should be crucial to child custody proceedings. What is known about parenting in the context of coercively controlling violence, and what the legislation directs courts to consider, is juxtaposed with the actuality [...] Read more.
This paper outlines why domestic violence (or more specifically, coercive control) should be crucial to child custody proceedings. What is known about parenting in the context of coercively controlling violence, and what the legislation directs courts to consider, is juxtaposed with the actuality of court decision making. Current knowledge about the recognition of domestic violence in judicial practice is overviewed, drawing particular attention to the role of the “expert” family assessment in determinations of a child’s “best interests”. A comprehensive synopsis of the existing research on these “expert” reports in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States is provided. It is concluded that, in court proceedings the reality of living with coercively controlling violence and the potential on-going risks it poses to children and non-abusive parents, is typically negated. Instead, “best interests” considerations prioritise the maintenance of perpetrator/child relationships, and thus “abuser’s rights” over victim safety. Judicial officers are not experts in domestic violence and they can only make decisions on the basis of the evidence before them, the assessments made by the “experts” likely play an important role in best interest considerations. Of concern is current research that calls into serious question the expertise of these “experts” when it comes to proceedings involving allegations of coercively controlling violence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
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