Intersectionality in Law, Policy and Society

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Queen's University Belfast

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Belfast, United Kingdom

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INTERSECTIONALITY IN LAW, POLICY AND SOCIETY

International interdisciplinary postgraduate research students’ workshop


Rationale and Scope

Intersectionality, applied to critical thinking and critical practice, has its roots in black feminism and a tradition in sociological studies. However, only after Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, a socio-legal scholar, coined the term intersectionality did the concept gain wider recognition in academia as well as for guiding public policy and law. Today, austerity politics, the pushing of limits of law by social media and the many ‘phobias’ entering public discourse, especially incited by phenomena such as the migrant crisis, invite a revisiting of intersectionality. Is it still a useful theoretical and methodological framework for critical observation of the dynamic power relations and categories of inequalities? And does legislation, case law and legal scholarship have the capacity to identify and to address intersectional inequalities? This workshop aims at providing a forum for PhD researchers in particular to unpack these questions. We have selected a set of papers as below, and are proud to also offer a keynote lecture by Professor Sandra Fredman, University of Oxford.

 

Paper Presentations

Raphaële Xenidis (PhD researcher, European University Institute, Italy) follows the travel of intersectionality from the US legal system to the European ones, including the specificities of its development around specific European social cleavages. She adds to the intersectionality debate a discussion on possible alternative legal reasoning developed by the European Court of Human Rights, by both introducing new concepts and by further diversifying existing ones. Her presentation further reaches out to the discussion on contextualisation and intersectionality.

Orsolya Mikola (PhD researcher, Pazmany Peter Catholic University, Hungary) takes the discussion to another international arena – the United Nations and the Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She discusses important disability-study concepts, such as accessibility and reasonable accommodation, in the context of women with disabilities, adding to the intersectionality discussion the novelty of the first “intersectional” international Human Rights law document - the ICRPD - and the newly developing case law.

Elizabeth Martin (PhD researcher, Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom) discusses methodologies for understanding the intersectional inequalities arising at the crossroad of gender, disability and class, by focusing additionally on the cases of older women that have experienced lifelong abuse. She considers the use of the BNIM adapted for the feminist context. She discusses agency in the context of abusive relationships, concluding it weakens not only through all levels of power in the society, but also through the combination thereof.

Lilla Farkas (PhD researcher, European University Institute, Italy) focuses her discussion on the challenges for judicial interpretation posed by intersectionality should a case be divorced from background analysis. In addition, she discusses ‘false intersectionality’ in a European context, partly born from the complexity of the racial and ethnic origin ground, as per the Race Equality Directive on the one hand, and lack of deeper understanding of this ground on the other. She claims a key importance for judicial reasoning lies in the definition of the grounds themselves.

 

Keynote Lecture

Presentations will be followed by a lecture from Professor Sandra Fredman FBA, QC. She will discuss intersectional discrimination in the context of EU gender equality and non-discrimination law.  Professor Fredman is a renowned author on equality and non-discrimination. She teaches at the University of Oxford and leads the Oxford Human Rights Hub. The European Equality Law Network recently published her thematic report on intersectional discrimination, some of the findings from which will be presented at the lecture.


 

FAQs

 

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

More information can be found at

http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/iss/LivinginBelfast/GettingtoQueens/

On-street parking is available in the University area. QUB is also served by several frequent bus services (all services on routes 7 and 8) from Belfast City Centre.

 

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions? 

Email cetls@qub.ac.uk for any additional queries. 


Where can I find out more about the Centre for European and Transnational Legal Studies (CETLS)?

See http://www.law.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofLaw/Research/European/ for more information. 




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