Thursday 8 November 2018 at 5pm.

The Scottish Public Law Group are delighted to invite you to an evening seminar at the Faculty of Advocates’ Mackenzie Building, 172 High Street, Old Assembly Close, Edinburgh.

The event is free and will atract 1.5 hours of CPD.

To register click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-scottish-feminist-judgments-project-an-insight-tickets-49938136310 


Is it possible to look at court judgments through a feminist lens, to see whether the reasoning or outcome might have been different? That’s exactly what the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project has been doing with a number of important judgments in different areas of law. In this event, Dr Chloë Kennedy, lecturer in Criminal Law at the University of Edinburgh and one of the co-ordinators of the project, will introduce and explain the project in its Scottish context.

We’ll then hear from some ‘judges’ who have been re-writing two significant public law judgments. The SPLG are delighted that Lady Carmichael, Senator of the College of Justice, has agreed to chair the evening.

Professor Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law at the University of Strathclyde, will discuss Salvesen v Riddell, a decision of the Supreme Court in 2013. It was the first civil case in which a provision in an Act of the Scottish Parliament was held to be outwith legislative competence and therefore ‘not law’ in terms of section 29 of the Scotland Act 1998.  The feminist judges’ approach in their alternative judgment is to consider whether approaching the legal issues through the lens of an ethic of care rather than an ethic of justice, might have led to a different outcome.

In Greater Glasgow Health Board v Doogan & Anor two Glasgow midwives argued that they ought to be exempt from acting in supervisory roles in relation to abortion. The Supreme Court decision, delivered by Lady Hale, addressed the issue as a pure question of statutory construction of the Abortion Act. The feminist judges, Dr Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra and Dr Emily Postan, both of the University of Edinburgh, will argue that the judgment missed the opportunity for a feminist analysis. Their alternative judgment will explore questions of professionalism, vulnerability, interests and structural barriers – and notions of a public/private distinction – from a perspective which keeps gender to the fore.

Further information on the cases and on the Scottish Feminist Judgment Project can be found on the downloads page of our website.


Registration is from 17:00. The talks will start at 17:30 and the evening will finish with a wine reception from 19:00 to 19:30.


Please note that the event may be recorded and the recording used, shared or distributed by the Scottish Public Law Group.

Please see the SPLG privacy notice, available on this page, as regards SPLG events.


The SPLG are grateful for the support offered by the Faculty of Advocates towards the cost of funding this event