The Federation Press

The Critical Judgments Project

Re-reading Monis v The Queen


This book introduces students to a number of critical legal perspectives and demonstrates how such perspectives might be used to influence and reimagine existing legal doctrines. It extends the seminal Feminist Judgments Project and adapts it specifically for the purpose of teaching critical legal thinking. Each chapter provides extracts and commentary on the prominent thinkers within the critical discipline before a leading critical scholar rewrites the judgment in the famous 2013 decision of the High Court of Australia, Monis v The Queen, informed and reimagined through this perspective.

The case required the High Court to engage with deep issues about the role of free speech in democracy, the appropriate role of the state in regulating civility of discourse and protecting vulnerable groups, and the ongoing influence of gender and race in approaching these issues. The decision was the first in which the Court split over the relevant issues along gender lines. The saliency of the identity of the judges in the case makes it natural for introducing students to the idea that who judges are, and how they understand notions of constitutional justice, may matter to the resolution of concrete constitutional questions.

The book builds on the seminal work undertaken in the Feminist Judgments Project by pluralising not just the feminist critique, but the wider range of critical perspectives brought to the judicial method. The critical perspectives in this project include feminism and the public–private divide, anti-subordination feminism, critical race theory, queer theory/post-structural feminism, law and literature, political liberalism, intersectional theory, law and economics, restorative justice and deliberative democratic theory.

Table of Contents

Foreword by The Hon Justice Margaret A McMurdo AC
Special Thanks
About the Contributors
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

1. Critical Thinking in Constitutional Law and Monis v The Queen
             Gabrielle Appleby and Rosalind Dixon

2. Law and Literature – Analysing Style in Judgment Writing
             Gabrielle Appleby and Heather Roberts

3. Feminism and the Public-Private Divide
             Margaret Thornton

4. Anti-Subordination Feminism
             Beth Gaze

5. Queer Theory and Poststructuralist Feminism
             Anne Macduff and Wayne Morgan

6. Critical Race Theory and the Constitutionality of Hate Speech Regulation
             Katharine Gelber

7. Intersectional Theory: Where Gender Meets Race, Ethnicity and Violence
             Megan Davis

8. An International Human Rights Law Perspective
             Andrew Byrnes

9. A Capabilities Approach
             Rosalind Dixon

10. Political Liberalism
             Denise Meyerson

11. Deliberative Democracy
             Peter Burdon and Alexander Reilly

12. A Restorative Justice Approach
             Melanie Schwartz and Anna Olijnyk

13. Preventive Justice
             Tamara Tulich

14. Law and Economics
             Richard Holden

15. Critical Judging
             Margaret Davies


Of interest...