African Feminist Judgments Project Launched by Cardiff Law and Global Justice

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The African Studies Association’s biennial conference at the University of Birmingham was the venue for the launch of our African Feminist Judgments Project on 11th September.

Under the direction of of Dr Sharifah Sekalala (Warwick), Dr Sibongile Ndashe (Institute for Strategic Litigation in Africa) and our own Professor Ambreena Manji, the project seeks to draft and disseminate alternative judgments for important African landmark cases on a range of legal issues. The project is generously supported by Cardiff University’s Centre for Law and Society and Warwick Law School.

We were delighted to welcome eleven feminist academic and practising lawyers from South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi to this meeting.

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Professor Erika Rackley, Kent Law School, a pioneer in the field of feminist judgments, opened our stream with a keynote lecture on her experiences with earlier projects and how we can learn from them. Subsequent panels engaged in detail with presentations by each of the participants on their chosen case and on why in their view it merited a feminist rewriting.

We reflected on our project methodology in further sessions. Key questions provoked by our presentations and by Professor Rackley’s lecture included the following. What is feminist judicial practice in Africa and what might we want it to be? How might alternative feminist judgments contribute to African jurisprudence, legal practice and judicial decision-making?

Planning also focussed on supportive modes of writing and reviewing, sharing materials and identifying ‘critical friends’ for the project from among feminist academics and judges in Africa.

Nairobi is the venue for our next meeting on 7th and 8th December 2018, where we will be hosted by British Institute in Eastern Africa.