Homicide, Gender and Responsibility
An International Perspective
The crime of homicide has long animated academic debate, community concern and political attention. The discussion has often centered on the perceived (in)adequacy of legal responses to homicide, questions of culpability, and divergent representations of victims and offenders. Within this, notions of gender, responsibility and justice are pivotal. This edited collection builds on existing scholarship by examining these concerns not only in the context of the ‘private’ world of domestic murder but also in the more ‘public’ world of the state, the corporation, war, and genocide. In so doing this book draws from key frameworks of criminological thought, legal analysis and empirical evidence to critically examine the relationship between homicide, gender and responsibility.
Bringing together leading international criminology and legal scholars, this collection provides a unique contribution to the academic and policy engagement with what is, more often than not, an ordinary and mundane crime. Analysing the crime in a variety of different social contexts alongside an in-depth and critical analysis of the interconnections between the ordinary act of lethal violence, gender and notions of responsibility, this book will be of interest to students, scholars and policymakers working in criminology and socio-legal studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Homicide, Gender and Responsibility by Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Sandra Walklate Part I: Making Sense of the Boundaries between Homicide, Gender and Responsibility 1. A Question of Provocation or Responsibility? Revisiting the Case of Ruth Ellis and David Blakely by Anette Ballinger 2. Murder, Manslaughter and Domestic Violence by Julie Stubbs 3. Representing Intimacy, Gender and Homicide: The Validity and Utility of Common Stereotypes in Law by Myrna Dawson 4. Constructions of Masculinity and Responsibility in the Sentencing of Children Who Commit Lethal Violence by Kate Fitz-Gibbon 5. Murderousness in War: From Mai Lai to Marine A by Sandra Walklate and Ross McGarry Part II: Blurring the Boundaries between Homicide, Gender and Responsibility 6. "He Seems to Come Out as a Personally Cruel Person": Perpetrator Re-Presentations in Direct Murder Cases at the ICTY by Anette Bringedal Houge 7. Lethal Violence and Legal Ambiguities: Deaths in Custody in Australia’s Offshore Detention Centres by Alison Gerard and Tracey A. Kerr 8. Attributing Criminal Responsibility for Workplace Fatalities and Deaths in Custody: Corporate Manslaughter in Britain and Ireland by David Doyle and Joe McGrath Conclusion: Concluding Thoughts on Homicide, Gender and Responsibility by Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Sandra Walklate
Kate Fitz-Gibbon is a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University (Victoria, Australia). Her research examines legal responses to lethal violence, the law of homicide and the impact of criminal law reform across Australian and international jurisdictions. This research has been undertaken with a focus on gender, responsibility and justice. Dr Fitz-Gibbon has advised on homicide law reform reviews in several Australian jurisdictions. Recent publications include: Homicide Law Reform, Gender and the Provocation Defence (2014, Palgrave Macmillan) and Homicide Law Reform in Victoria: Retrospect and Prospects (edited with Arie Freiberg, 2015, The Federation Press).
Sandra Walklate is Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology at the University of Liverpool (United Kingdom) and adjunct professor at QUT in Brisbane. Internationally recognised for her work in victimology and research on criminal victimisation, her recent publications include: Victims: Trauma, Testimony, Justice (2015, Routledge with Ross McGarry), The Contradictions of Terrorism (2014, Routledge with Gabe Mythen), Criminology and War: Transgressing the Borders (edited collection, Routledge, 2015, with Ross McGarry). She is currently Editor in Chief of the British Journal of Criminology.
This collection of illuminating and provocative essays explicitly engages with the ways notions about gender and responsibility are deeply implicated in understandings of myriad forms of lethal violence, from the violence of individual actors to the violence of the state. Implicitly, these analyses also reveal how our understandings of lethal violence shape constructions of gender and criminal responsibility; and they require us to consider the violence of legal interpretation in both its productive and destructive forms. The international and interdisciplinary scope is impressive, informative, and imperative.
—Professor Rosemary Gartner, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto, Canada
In conclusion, Homicide, Gender and Responsibility offers an original perspective on various representations of responsibility in legal responses to homicide, though the role of gender is not emphasized in each chapter as much as the title of the collection would suggest. Every chapter uses a different conceptual and methodological approach to examine a different context in which lethal violence occurs, and the book appears as a collection of different papers which can be consulted separately depending on one's need. However, as a collection, this book could constitute a useful source for graduate students, as it provides new insights on the concept of responsibility and the blurred border between murder and manslaughter - as well as for scholars, as it provides stimulating cues for future research in these neglected approaches to lethal violence.
— Eleonora Rossi and Marieke Liem, Violence Research Intiative, Leiden University, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books