Law and Gender in Modern Ireland: Critique and Reform is the first generalist text to tackle the intersection of law and gender in this jurisdiction for over two decades. As such, it could hardly have come at a more opportune moment. The topic of law and gender, perhaps more so than at any other time in Irish history, has assumed a dominant place in political and academic debate. Among scholars and policy-makers alike, the regulation of gendered bodies, and the legal status of sexual and gendered identities, is now a highly visible fault line in public discourse.
Debates over reproductive justice (exemplified by the recent referendum to remove the '8th Amendment'), increased rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (including the public-sanctioned introduction of same-sex marriage) and the historic mistreatment of women and young girls have re-shaped Irish public and political life, and encouraged Irish society to re-examine long-unchallenged gender norms. While many traditional flashpoints, such as abortion and prostitution/sex work, remain, there are also new questions, including surrogacy and the gendered experience of asylum frameworks, which have emerged. As policy-makers seek to enact reforms, they face a population with increasingly polarised perceptions of gender and a legal structure ill-equipped for modern realities.
This edited volume directly addresses modern Irish debates on law and gender. Providing an overview of the existing rules and standards, as well as exploring possible options for reform, the collection stands as an important statement on the law in this jurisdiction, and as an invaluable resource for pursuing gendered social change. While the edited collection applies a doctrinal methodology to explain current statutes, case law and administrative practices, the contributors also invoke critical gender, queer and race perspectives to identify and problematise existing (and potential) challenges. The edited collection is essential reading for all who are interested in law, gender and processes of social change in modern Ireland.