web site hit counter Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice

Availability: Ready to download

Eve Was Framed offers an impassioned, personal critique of the British legal system. Helena Kennedy focuses on the treatment of women in our courts - at the prejudices of judges, the misconceptions of jurors, the labyrinths of court procedures and the influence of the media. But the inequities she uncovers could apply equally to any disadvantaged group - to those whose cas Eve Was Framed offers an impassioned, personal critique of the British legal system. Helena Kennedy focuses on the treatment of women in our courts - at the prejudices of judges, the misconceptions of jurors, the labyrinths of court procedures and the influence of the media. But the inequities she uncovers could apply equally to any disadvantaged group - to those whose cases are subtly affected by race, class poverty or politics, or who are burdened, even before they appear in court, by misleading stereotypes.


Compare

Eve Was Framed offers an impassioned, personal critique of the British legal system. Helena Kennedy focuses on the treatment of women in our courts - at the prejudices of judges, the misconceptions of jurors, the labyrinths of court procedures and the influence of the media. But the inequities she uncovers could apply equally to any disadvantaged group - to those whose cas Eve Was Framed offers an impassioned, personal critique of the British legal system. Helena Kennedy focuses on the treatment of women in our courts - at the prejudices of judges, the misconceptions of jurors, the labyrinths of court procedures and the influence of the media. But the inequities she uncovers could apply equally to any disadvantaged group - to those whose cases are subtly affected by race, class poverty or politics, or who are burdened, even before they appear in court, by misleading stereotypes.

30 review for Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zanna

    Treating equally those who are unequal creates further inequality Helena Kennedy is a barrister working in criminal law, and she sees in the current spate of miscarriages of justice coming to light an opportunity for radical reform in the courts… except it's 1992. I need a sequel to this book! I should read her more recent work to see what happened next. She certainly creates a mood of drama and urgency here. Kennedy more or less fell into the law and the training for the Bar could only have been Treating equally those who are unequal creates further inequality Helena Kennedy is a barrister working in criminal law, and she sees in the current spate of miscarriages of justice coming to light an opportunity for radical reform in the courts… except it's 1992. I need a sequel to this book! I should read her more recent work to see what happened next. She certainly creates a mood of drama and urgency here. Kennedy more or less fell into the law and the training for the Bar could only have been less hospitable to her if she hadn't been white. At the Inns of Court, she describes an overwhelmingly male and overtly misogynistic environment steeped in bizarre ritual. The percentage of women in the profession was small and confined to the lower ranks, with hardly any women ascending to the bench (becoming judges). The statistics were even more dire for people of colour whether female or male. Ancient, alienating tradition continues into the courtroom, with wigs, robes and pompous jargon designed to make the defendant feel uncomfortable. But some defendants feel more uncomfortable than others. The further you are from being white, male, middle class, highly educated and professional, the more terrifying this environment is going to be. Most of this book concerns how stereotypes about women operate in the law, particularly in criminal justice. These can be exploited by one side or the other: women willing and able to present themselves as virtuous and devoted wives and mothers will be smiled on by the court (especially if white). Women are considered to be family glue rather than actual humans: [in 1991] a retired Appeal Court judge explained that if it were open to wives to bring prosecutions against rape, albeit against a background of domestic violence, it would prohibit any chance of rehabilitation of the marriage and would have a deleterious effect on children - as though rape itself, rather than the prosecution, might not already have had that effect. Precisely these arguments about 'irreparable damage to the family' have been used to counter the introduction of every piece of reforming legislation for the benefit of women in the last hundred years. Far from protecting women from it, the law has historically sanctioned the abuse of women within marriage as an aspect of the husband's ownership of his wife and the right to chastise her 'with a stick no thicker than his thumb' […women risk] being condemned by popular mythology about domestic violence: either she was not as badly beaten as she claims, or she must have stayed out of some masochistic enjoyment of it. Kennedy argues that expert testimony from psychiatrists is needed to prevent the fallback to stereotypes in cases of intimate partner abuse as many people on juries have little understanding of how women are affected by such violence, and cannot make sense of their behaviour. She notes that psychiatry tends to be treated with derision, yet women are usually cast as 'mad rather than bad', not in control of their own actions. While this is problematic, Kennedy points out that the majority of women in the CJS have been subjected to more criminal behaviour than they have been responsible for: studies consistenly show that most women offenders are abuse victims. Marital rape became legally possible in the UK in... um 1991(!) before which the marriage contract was taken to include the right to sex any time for men. Kennedy says that rape jokes used to be constant at legal dinners. The gross acceptability of rape in our culture (unless a woman is leapt upon in an alley by a stranger with a knife) is leveraged to the full by defendants. Victims have no representation in court. Very often, women cannot win. Signs of a struggle are brushed off by defendants as signs of vigorous sex-play, while lack of such signs as proof that it wasn't rape at all, even though women are advised not to struggle in order to prevent further, potentially fatal, violence (not an unfounded fear as countless cases show) Women who kill their husbands after years of horrific abuse can rarely successfully argue that they acted in self defense or were provoked unless they were actually being physically attacked at the time. The courts are harsh on these women, Kennedy finds, while treating men who kill 'nagging' wives leniently. Juries are instructed to compare the behaviour of defendants to that of 'a reasonable man', an absurdity which surely hampers the defence of women; what constitutes provocation must be inflected by power structures including gender. When Kennedy says 'it's not just women' she ought to say 'it's not just white women' - the mixed-gender composition of 'other groups' tends to get lost in writing by white feminists. But Kennedy is better than most on this, tracing not only how black men fare badly in the CJS and how it affects their families, and how stereotypes about Afro-Caribbean, Asian and other minoritised women are played out in the courts, but how race forms a barrier for lawyers, and how it affects defendants' experiences. Constructions of femininity that may hinder or help white women are usually weaponised against black women: The writer Ann Oakley has pointed out that the dividing line between what is masculine and what is criminal is at times a thin one; assertiveness and independence are seen as exclusively male characteristics, and when displayed by young black women are seen as indicative of 'trouble' She meanders through the her arguments: there are so many cases to make, so many pieces of evidence, that there is no time to cycle back, yet points of confluence are returned to again and again, theme and variation, not for the sake of repetition, but by chance: each fact has resonance in many themes. The only chapter I really struggled to read was about serial killers. Kennedy's penchant for psychological explanation here reminded me of Joan Smith's work, but Kennedy is much more restrained, and never speculative. The acuity of her analysis is clear in its congruence with women's lived experience. I am no proponent of Law & Order: I am an anarcha-feminist and I believe in alternatives to criminalisation and especially imprisonment, which I am learning to understand as an extension of colonisation. But I find little to disagree with in Kennedy's writing. I don't know which, if any, of her suggested reforms have been enacted, but I'm especially interested in her argument for a Bill of Rights in the UK. Still no sign of that one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bii

    This book is so important. Not only does it tackle women's issues brilliantly, but it never fails to keep in mind that class and race are also major factors in women's discriminations. I'd highly, highly recommend it to everyone; especially (white) men.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    A fascinating look at the way in which the legal system is institutionally sexist and the impact that has on the women who pass through it. Kennedy shares her own experience of coming up as one of the few female barristers and the ways in which archaic traditions are limiting the pipeline of female lawyers who could become tomorrow's judges - and thus the system is perpetuated. More troubling is the impact this lack of representation has on the women who are either victims of crimes (particularly A fascinating look at the way in which the legal system is institutionally sexist and the impact that has on the women who pass through it. Kennedy shares her own experience of coming up as one of the few female barristers and the ways in which archaic traditions are limiting the pipeline of female lawyers who could become tomorrow's judges - and thus the system is perpetuated. More troubling is the impact this lack of representation has on the women who are either victims of crimes (particularly disproportionately gendered ones such as domestic or sexual violence) or charged with crimes, and their ability to access fair treatment. Even if we exclude the men on the bench who are out and out misogynists, there's a fundamental issue of lack of understanding in those that remain: "Police, lawyers and judges still have difficulties in abandoning their stereotype of the abused woman as someone who is submissive and cowed. When the woman appears competent or has a bit of gumption or if she seems to be materially well-off, there is a failure of the imagination as to how she could be victimised. Lawyers still say of a battered woman 'She is a middle-class woman. It is not as though she could not afford alternative accommodation.'" As a survivor myself I found the sections about sexual violence particularly illuminating and infuriating. There is still a troubling, largely unconscious, perception that entitlement to a woman's body is something that can be debated. Here is a quote from the House of Lords during the reading debate of the Sexual Offences Act: "Viscount Bledisloe chose an unfortunate but telling example from which to draw the principle: 'If I am accused of stealing your property, it is a defence if I show an honest belief that I had a claim of right to that property. That is the general test of the criminal law.'" While Bledisloe would, no doubt, have claimed that this was an innocent metaphor, it's problematic that the idea of 'property' is the first analogy a man can reach for in a conversation about rape, given the history of women once being the legal property of their fathers or their husbands. More frustrating is the idea that a reasonable defence would be an honest belief of entitlement, and demonstrates how the law is still not fit for purpose when it comes to sexual violence. This is unlikely to improve while the mechanisms of amending existing and introducing new laws is so dominated by affluent, white, cishet, non-disabled men (i.e. the group who are far more likely to be the perpetrators than the survivors of this particular crime.) Kennedy does a reasonable job of looking at this issue through a more intersectional lens, particularly in terms of race and class. I found her analysis of the perception of black women in court particularly interesting, and this was again contextualised in the total lack of racial diversity in the legal systems. However, I also recognise as a white middle-class woman myself, there may well have been gaps / problematic elements that I missed. Sexuality was briefly referenced, but there was no reference to the complexities of gender in terms of trans and non-binary people's experiences, or to the experiences of disabled women who are also disproportionately likely to experience violence. I also found the constant references to 'battered women' very uncomfortable, but I also appreciate that this book was written in the 90s when the term was commonly used. I'd be interested to see if she's dropped that term in her recent follow up Eve Was Shamed: How British Justice is Failing Women. Overall, a very interesting book and a much needed female perspective on how the justice system impacts women. It is quite academic in nature, so it was quite a slow read for me. As such, I would give it 3.5 stars, rounded up here as I believe it has a lot to offer even if the reading experience wasn't always easy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ella Chan

    What is the gender of the partner most often beaten in a relationship? What is the gender of those most often sexually violated? When we hear a body has been found, someone killed in a park by a stranger, what sex is the victim? The gender nature of certain crimes and their victims and the gendered nature of so much law, because it is usually administered by men, is still insufficiently recognized or discussed. In this book, Kennedy illustrates the difficulty women encounter when trying to navig What is the gender of the partner most often beaten in a relationship? What is the gender of those most often sexually violated? When we hear a body has been found, someone killed in a park by a stranger, what sex is the victim? The gender nature of certain crimes and their victims and the gendered nature of so much law, because it is usually administered by men, is still insufficiently recognized or discussed. In this book, Kennedy illustrates the difficulty women encounter when trying to navigate the British antiquated court systems. The book opens with the mysterious description of the Inns of Court, and of the many obstacles encountered by women who aspire with be barristers. One such example is how a woman should dress in court, since any revealing aspects (skirts, shirts) would lead to "unfair" evaluation of the two parties. Woman also participate in less interstices of the law -- the circuit dinners, and cricket matches, the gold, the wine committees, due to their commitment to children. Therefore, they know fewer judges socially and will not be championed in their career rise in the same way that men are. Helena Kennedy argues that women should be present in evert level of law -- this is because jurists are human beings, and, as such, are informed and influenced by their backgrounds, community and experiences. For many reasons, women have difference experiences than men. Hence, with a more balanced gender in law, the judgements can be fairer. Majority of the text is devoted to the stereotyping imposed on women in courts, whether they appear as defendants (unnatural viragos), plaintiffs (probably asked for it), or witnesses (notoriously unreliable). Far fewer women actually get prosecuted, but those that do, suffer harsher sentences than their male counterparts for equivalent crimes. In the midst of this, the court does not take into account other aspects such as depriving children of a mother and the condition of the woman in jail. What is great about this book is that there are numerous real-life examples and cases given, allowing a greater insight to Kennedy's statements. This book allowed me to realize the inadequacies of law. It is really not as simple as the fact that law is sexist -- the problem runs deeper and the solution is beyond complicated. As Mary Robinson, the former President of ireland and an eminent human rights lawyer, has said: "If we are to go forward we need to look at attitudes and the language which expresses attitude... If we are to strike a balance, if we are to readjust participation and enrich our society with dialogue, we have to revise this way of thinking."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    I don't usually read non-fiction. I find it dull and boring, and only really read it out of necessity. But in this book I found a kind of compromise. While it does tell you facts and figures and is detailed in its evidence, it also tells stories of the authors experience and narrates courtroom drama in a way that keeps you interested in what Kennedy is trying to tell you. And on that subject, what she is trying to tell you is perfectly argued. This novel might be slightly out of date in its citin I don't usually read non-fiction. I find it dull and boring, and only really read it out of necessity. But in this book I found a kind of compromise. While it does tell you facts and figures and is detailed in its evidence, it also tells stories of the authors experience and narrates courtroom drama in a way that keeps you interested in what Kennedy is trying to tell you. And on that subject, what she is trying to tell you is perfectly argued. This novel might be slightly out of date in its citing of laws passed ten years ago, especially when legal precedent is constantly changing, but generally, what was true then is still true now (unfortunately). While it doesn't take into account recent improvements in legal training and police handling of many legal cases, it pretty much sums up the poor treatment women experience in the British Justice system in a succinct and entertaining way. If you're afraid this book will just paint women as victims, as Eves who have been framed, don't be. She incriminates women as much as men and talks an equal share about female criminals as she does about female victims. But being a feminist reading of the law, she obviously also discusses how female criminals are vilified far more than men for committing a crime, a 'masculine' act which involves transgressing the boundaries of what is expected of women in society. The way she handles sensitive topics such as rape, domestic violence, infanticide, prostitution, etc. is skilful and her eloquent argument against the 'Chivalry Theory' changed the misconceptions I had about women being treated more gently than men in our legal system. She also tackles the prison system, and how many women are sentenced to imprisonment for minor crimes for which a man would not be. Her attack on double standards is witty and intelligent, and only made me fall further in love with her and her writing. Her final questioning of whether we want equality with men or to be treated fairly, and her discussion of the vast difference between these two approaches was fascinating. Her resounding conclusion was we must demand fairness, and that different but equal treatment of men and women will lead to the same outcome, a fair one. Finally the way she uses language that can be deciphered by those without a legal mind means I will suggest it to everyone who has an interest in law, feminism, politics or current affairs; it is a brilliant, easy and emotive read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Teodora

    If I were to discuss the book purely based on its content, I'd reach the harsh conclusion that it could have been better. That's not to say the book is not worth reading since it contains its more than fair share of 'inside stories', analysis and theoretical accounts. But I found myself reading some sentences twice due to the absurdity of some of Kennedy's allegations. It is not enough to say 'no'. Men hear a challenge to their masculinity in the sound. As a person who has read widely on t If I were to discuss the book purely based on its content, I'd reach the harsh conclusion that it could have been better. That's not to say the book is not worth reading since it contains its more than fair share of 'inside stories', analysis and theoretical accounts. But I found myself reading some sentences twice due to the absurdity of some of Kennedy's allegations. It is not enough to say 'no'. Men hear a challenge to their masculinity in the sound. As a person who has read widely on the topic of feminism, I can say that there are far more complex articles or books that don't include such radical opinions and still have a point. Because, honestly, we cannot argue that all men react in the same way to the same event, especially when talking about their feelings. Kennedy seems to want to make topics like men and psychology seem easy when, in fact, they're not. However, I can understand why Helena Kennedy would want to write 'extra'; back in 2005, when the book was released, feminism was not as prevalent as it is today so I gather it took a lot more convincing to make people believe that our society faces some issues. After all, most of the people are into feminism nowadays because the subject is popular. And rightly so. But this means that we should admire even more people like Helena Kennedy who dared to bring up crucial topics like feminism when such issues were not nearly as popular as they are today.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate K

    Helena Kennedy’s 1993 book Eve was Framed is to my knowledge not in print anymore, but it’s worth getting a copy second hand if you can. The text looks at the experience of women in the British justice system, each chapter covering a specific topic including: the experience of female lawyers, rape and domestic violence, the impact of race on the experience of female defendants, and the law of manslaughter and how it’s applied to the different genders. Kennedy’s book is 25-years-old yet still seems Helena Kennedy’s 1993 book Eve was Framed is to my knowledge not in print anymore, but it’s worth getting a copy second hand if you can. The text looks at the experience of women in the British justice system, each chapter covering a specific topic including: the experience of female lawyers, rape and domestic violence, the impact of race on the experience of female defendants, and the law of manslaughter and how it’s applied to the different genders. Kennedy’s book is 25-years-old yet still seems painfully relevant today. Expect an easy-to-follow, concise look at plenty of the issues facing women both practising Law and experiencing criminal justice as either defendants, victims or witnesses. Enjoyed.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Anne

    "The symbol of justice may be a woman, but why should we settle for a symbol?" It’s a sobering fact that although Helena Kennedy's book was first published in 1992, every word is still relevant today. This is a concise, well crafted look at women and the justice system. Using her own experience and expertise, Kennedy reflects on how women often fail to find justice or fair treatment when it comes to the criminal law in the UK. This book is intersectional and touches upon race and sexuality. Kenne "The symbol of justice may be a woman, but why should we settle for a symbol?" It’s a sobering fact that although Helena Kennedy's book was first published in 1992, every word is still relevant today. This is a concise, well crafted look at women and the justice system. Using her own experience and expertise, Kennedy reflects on how women often fail to find justice or fair treatment when it comes to the criminal law in the UK. This book is intersectional and touches upon race and sexuality. Kennedy doesn’t get into academic feminism but this a good grounder for anyone looking to read more. The topics covered include prisoners, the legal profession and rape trials.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Becky Henderson

    Incredibly clear-sighted analysis of the state of the British legal system in relation to women in the early 90s. Shocked at some of the arguments I read surrounding why rape in marriage shouldn't have been made a crime at that time - we should feel ashamed at how long it took us to change the law in this area. Happy to see that many of Kennedy's suggestions for reform have been taken up, albeit a decade or 2 late. Would love to read an update from this woman on her current views of the system an Incredibly clear-sighted analysis of the state of the British legal system in relation to women in the early 90s. Shocked at some of the arguments I read surrounding why rape in marriage shouldn't have been made a crime at that time - we should feel ashamed at how long it took us to change the law in this area. Happy to see that many of Kennedy's suggestions for reform have been taken up, albeit a decade or 2 late. Would love to read an update from this woman on her current views of the system and it's issues.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Carter

    I actually didn’t finish this book, even though i was really excited to read it. I felt like it was the same point that had been expanded and written into 400 pages. I feel it could have been condensed and made shorter. In the end I gave up it wasn’t engaging and it was an effort to read. I loved the idea and concept and the issues around women and the law but could be shorter.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Angus George

    Apart from a slight overdependence on statistics, this is fantastic: outraged and eloquent and clever. Essential reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Durnford

    My law student brain loved this. Incredibly thoughtful and insightful, absolutely on point throughout. Sometimes harrowing but always relevant.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read this book shortly before accepting a job as a Legal Secretary. I think this fascinating book may have influenced my decision to apply for a legal job!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

    3.5 *s

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ines

    Not for the fainthearted, but if you can take it, read it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    A little dated now but still very relevant. Well written and argued.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pandora Yadgaroff

    Helena Kennedy's work is empowering and fascinating, especially for those interested in the realities of the British legal system. Saddening and uplifting simultaneously...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    In need of updating really, but still a well written insight into women's legal and criminological issues.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Raelynne

    This is such a great and detailed account of the current English system and it’s prejudice towards women. Helena Kennedy QC has an acute lens when looking at legal issues and it is very inspiring to read her arguments. Recently, she appeared in the Reith Lecture when Jonathan Sumption is arguing that the judiciary is taking over the political matters. I think her writing is extremely persuasive and all the cases she gave in support of her views are from years of practicing in the profession. She This is such a great and detailed account of the current English system and it’s prejudice towards women. Helena Kennedy QC has an acute lens when looking at legal issues and it is very inspiring to read her arguments. Recently, she appeared in the Reith Lecture when Jonathan Sumption is arguing that the judiciary is taking over the political matters. I think her writing is extremely persuasive and all the cases she gave in support of her views are from years of practicing in the profession. She criticises the legal system being both colour blind and sexist in its current from: sexual abuse cases, she devil, she is black is all stereotypes imposed on women which made them disadvantaged in a court. Some women agreed to reduce murder charge to manslaughter rather than arguing all the way just because if the fear of the court system.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ines Letellier

    one of my favourite books of all time

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nira

    Are women equal to men? No better place than the legal system to evaluate that. This book fits the bill if you're looking for something different,thought provoking that challenges norms of society. It is an eye opener,as Helena evaluates the British legal system that ignores discrimination against women, minorities and opens it up for public scrutiny.However, It can be a bit heavy,dreary and hard to follow if you are not interested/ fairly informed of the law. It also lacks the zest to keep you Are women equal to men? No better place than the legal system to evaluate that. This book fits the bill if you're looking for something different,thought provoking that challenges norms of society. It is an eye opener,as Helena evaluates the British legal system that ignores discrimination against women, minorities and opens it up for public scrutiny.However, It can be a bit heavy,dreary and hard to follow if you are not interested/ fairly informed of the law. It also lacks the zest to keep you reading. Nevertheless, I am glad I picked up this book as it made me less naive and more aware of the stereotypes still held against women. Helena makes you feel motivated and driven to initiate change by the end of this book and exposes you to the harsh reality we live in.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Raz

    Very good book. Sometimes felt repetitive and not as logically ordered or separated as it could be, but nonetheless a very interesting and thought-provoking look at the treatment of women in the British courts. The case law really brought it alive too. Some parts are quite out of date - for example the changes mentioned to the defences to murder have now been enacted - but as the book was written in 1992 this in inevitable. A recommended read for any woman involved in the law (or aspiring to be Very good book. Sometimes felt repetitive and not as logically ordered or separated as it could be, but nonetheless a very interesting and thought-provoking look at the treatment of women in the British courts. The case law really brought it alive too. Some parts are quite out of date - for example the changes mentioned to the defences to murder have now been enacted - but as the book was written in 1992 this in inevitable. A recommended read for any woman involved in the law (or aspiring to be so) as a professional.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Lochhead

    Fascinating, frightening and provocative look at how women are treated by the law. I frequently found myself pausing to have arguments in my head with imaginary lawyers and judges while reading this! Made me angry but also more educated.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christi

    Very insightful. Kennedy is a wonderful writer and really 'gets' the problems facing women especially with regards to rape and DV. She also suggests some good solutions to the problems of the Justice system being completely male oriented.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I would love an updated version, post-Human Rights Act but this remains a thorough dissection of women's relationship with the court and probably mostly still all too accurate.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    A really important book. Thorough and well written.

  27. 4 out of 5

    tomas folta

  28. 5 out of 5

    Libby Gargett

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emma Louise Phillips

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.