Feminist Engagement with the Law: The legal recognition of the Battered Woman Syndrome
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of the feminist engagement with the state by considering one specific development in law: the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in Lavallee to recognize the Battered Woman Syndrome as relevant in cases involving women defendants who kill their abusive partners. Using a socialist feminist framework, the aim is to determine whether this particular reform represents a benefit for women. The discussion concludes with a consideration of the implications of the legal recognition of the Battered Woman Syndrome for feminists who engage the law to end the abuse of women by their male partners.
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