Law's Knowledge: The Judge, The Expert, The Battered Woman, and Her Syndrome

  title={Law's Knowledge: The Judge, The Expert, The Battered Woman, and Her Syndrome},
  author={K. O'donovan},
  journal={Journal of Law and Society},
  • K. O'donovan
  • Published 1993
  • Psychology
  • Journal of Law and Society
With the increased public sympathy for women who kill their abusers, a return to examination of law's handling of these deaths is timely.' The sympathy springs from criticism of the trial process as mediated to the jury by the judge. There seems to be an intuitive public understanding that long experience of being a victim of violence may lead a woman to kill. The focus of this paper is on the resistances of English law to women's accounts of their experiences. This is marked when compared to… Expand
Expert Evidence As Context: Historical Patterns and Contemporary Attitudes in the Prosecution of Sexual Offences
In H.M. Advocate v. Grimmond1 the judge in a Scottish High Court trial refused permission for expert psychological evidence to be admitted on behalf of the Crown in a prosecution involving sexualExpand
'Reasonable' Women Who Kill: Re-Interpreting and Re-defining Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence in England and Wales 1900-1965
This article makes a contribution to current debates about gender and punishment by providing an historical analysis of the judicial fate of female domestic abuse victims who eventually killed theirExpand
Defences to Murder: A Woman-Centred Analysis
This thesis has developed a woman-centred analytical framework and accompanying court room strategy to critically evaluate the legal construction of abused women who kill and their reactions to abuseExpand
Telling Stories of Women Who Kill
I N THIS ARTICLE we seek to address the issue of women who kill and . how they are treated by the legalsystem, in a way which moves the debate forward from its current focus on battered women whoExpand
Not a Defender of Herself, but a Defenceless Victim without a Self: The Need for Sociological Expertise in Battered Women's Self-Defence Trials
When a battered woman kills her abuser in self-defence, she is thrust into a complex legal situation where her behaviour is frequently characterized by expert testimony as the result of a medical,Expand
The battered body : a feminist legal history
This thesis investigates a current debate within feminist th eory, and specifically within feminist legal theory, about how to challenge the li beral construction of women's subjectivity. It contendsExpand
Imagining evidence, fictioning truth - revisiting (courtesy of O. J. Simpson) expert evidence in the Chamberlain case
Connoisseurs of bizarre criminal cases must have been revelling. Could there really have been any doubt that the two 'trials of the century' would hit the press in the same week, despite a time lapseExpand
Law’s Autonomy in Action: Anthropology and History in Court
THE AUTONOMY of legal reasoning, based on its capacity to manufacture its own conditions of existence, has been described as law’s ‘amazing trick’ (Scheiber, 1984: 236–7), ‘the trick by which the lawExpand
A Muted Voice from the Past
This article contributes to debates about gender and punishment by providing a critical analysis of the appeal of Ruth Ellis which took place in 2003, 48 years after her trial and execution in 1955.Expand
Battered women and bad science: The limited validity and utility of battered woman syndrome
In 1991 the Supreme Court of South Australia held that evidence of battered woman syndrome had been erroneously excluded from the trial of two female defendants. The Chief Justice commented thatExpand