1st Edition

Leading Works in Law and Social Justice

Edited By Faith Gordon, Daniel Newman Copyright 2021
    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book assesses the role of social justice in legal scholarship and its potential future development by focusing upon the ‘leading works’ of the discipline.

    The rise of socio-legal studies over recent decades has led to a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of law, which prioritises placing law into its wider social context. Recognising the role that culture, economics and politics play in the development of law is important in order to fully understand the position and impact of law in society. Innovative and written in an engaging way, this collection includes leading and emerging scholars from across the world. Each contributor has been invited to select and analyse a ‘leading work’, a publication which has for them shed light on the way that law and social justice are interlinked and has influenced their own understanding, scholarship, advocacy, and, in some instances, activism. The book also includes a specially written foreword and afterword, which critically reflect upon the contributions of the 'leading works' to consider the role that social justice has played in law and legal education and the likely future path for social justice in legal scholarship.

    This book will be an essential resource for all those working in the areas of social justice, socio-legal studies and legal philosophy. It will be of wider interest to the social sciences more generally.


    – Baroness Shami Chakrabarti CBE PC

    Introduction: Law and Social Justice

    – Faith Gordon and Daniel Newman 

    1. Lifetimes of Commitment to Law and Social Justice

    - Jacqueline A. Kinghan

    2. Decolonial Violence and the "Native Intellectual"

    - Patricia Tuitt

    3. A very British domination contract? Charles W. Mills’ theoretical framework and understanding social justice in Britain

    - Zara Bain

    4. Marx and anti-colonialism

    - Thalia Anthony

    5. The Law of Peoples

    – John Rawls

    6. Naming ‘Femicide’

    - Ashley Rogers

    7. Feminist Legal Engagements towards a Transformative Justice

    - Jane Krishnadas

    8. Social Justice and the Limits of Regulation: the enduring insights of Marx’s Capital

    - Steve Tombs

    9. Mariana Valverde: Scale, Jurisdiction and Social Justice

    - Jess Mant

    10. Policing the Union’s Black: The Racial Politics of Law and Order in Contemporary Britain

    - Lambros Fatsis

    11. Larissa Behrendt - Achieving Social Justice: Indigenous Rights and Australia's Future

    - Robyn Oxley

    12. Beyond Criminology: Taking Harm Seriously

    - Lynne Copson

    13. The Souls of Black Folk, by W.E.B. Du Bois

    - Bharat Malkani

    14. At war with the court’s ‘sublime complacency’: Bob Woffinden remembered

    - Jon Robins

    15. The Vulnerable Subject: Anchoring Equality in the Human Condition (Martha Fineman)

    - Ellen Gordon-Bouvier

    16. Reflections on Law and Social Justice: Robin West, ‘Economic Man and Literary Woman’ Mercer Law Review

    - Amir Paz-Fuchs

    Afterword: Intersections of Social Justice and Socio-legal Scholarship

    - Professor Hilary Sommerlad, Chair in Law and Social Justice, University of Leeds


    Faith Gordon is Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law, the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

    Daniel Newman is Senior Lecturer at Cardiff Law School, Cardiff, Wales.

    "This is a fascinating examination of the foundations of social justice and the role law plays in helping and harming the pursuit of justice. Anyone interested in law and social justice has to read this book!"

    Professor Bill Quigley, College of Law, Loyola University New Orleans and Director of the Loyola Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center

    "This book is being published soon after the death of the legendary Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who personified the marriage of law and social justice as few other jurists have done. The rush to fill the vacancy left on the US Supreme Court in the aftermath of her passing should leave no-one in doubt about the inherent connection between law and politics. At a time when the stakes have never been higher, as authoritarian politicians seek to deepen social divisions, and at times threaten democratic governance and rule of law itself, this collection of essays provides a reference point, and a repository of hope, for those seeking to mobilise law in the ongoing fight for social justice."

    Associate Professor Leanne Weber, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

    "This inter-disciplinary community of authors addresses key contemporary issues including colonialism, black lives matter, feminism and legal education. The result is the pieces of their jigsaw create a picture of identification, challenge, opportunity and change."

    Emeritus Professor Phil Thomas, Law Department, Cardiff University and Editor of the Journal of Law and Society

    "Leading Works in Law and Social Justice integrates a diversity of contemporary reflections on the topic. In this effort the selection of chapters highlight both the diversity of perspectives and themes that cross the field. A fundamental work for those interested in the different ways in which the law, legal institutions and their operators can contribute to different types of social justice in our societies."

    Dr Karina Ansolabehere, Professor at the Latin American School of Social Sciences, Mexico (Flacso México) and a researcher with the National Autonomous University of Mexico

    "In the post pandemic world, where climate change, environmental destruction, profound inequality, violence and gross exploitation threaten life on a daily basis, the struggle against all forms of injustice has never been more urgent. A book which provides law students with inspiration to advocate on behalf of marginalised peoples could not be more timely. Rather than valorising the Law, the diverse and excellent essays in Leading Works in Law and Social Justice understand the law as one means, among others, in the ongoing endeavour to achieve social justice." 

    Professor Chris Cunneen, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology, Sydney