Advertisement

Law and Critique

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 83–102 | Cite as

A ‘Right to Passions’? Compassion’s Sexed Asymmetry and a Minor Comedy of Errors

  • Adrian Howe
Article

Abstract

This paper reflects on the experience of presenting a limit test case based on passion/provocation cases against a proposed ‘right to passions’ suggested by proponents of a sentimental jurisprudence. The limit case, presented at the 2010 CLC held in Utrecht, invited the audience to reflect on the human (read: male) right to a provocation defence, a right enshrined in the criminal law as a concession to ‘human frailty’ in ‘crimes of passion’ for centuries.

Keywords

Audience Compassion Femicide Feminism Passion Provocation Shakespeare 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Research for this paper was completed during my visiting professorial fellowship at Queen Mary Law School, University of London. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the inspirational work of Eric Heinze, professor of law at Queen Mary. Thanks Eric for your wonderful Law and Shakespeare lectures, your boundless enthusiasm for Shakespearean-inflected critical law scholarship and finally, for so generously sharing your wealth of knowledge in the field. Thanks also to the reviewers for their comments.

References

  1. Ancel, Marc. 1957. Le crime passionel. The Law Quarterly Review 73: 36–47.Google Scholar
  2. Asquith, Clare. 2005. Shadowplay: The hidden beliefs and coded politics of William Shakespeare. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  3. Barreto, José-Manuel. 2006. Ethics of emotions as ethics of human rights: A jurisprudence of sympathy in Adorno, Horskheimer and Rorty. Law and Critique 17: 73–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barreto, José-Manuel. 2011. Rorty and human rights—Contingency, emotions and how to defend human rights telling stories. Utrecht Law Review 7(2): 93–112.Google Scholar
  5. Bray, A. 2009. Governing the gaze: Child sexual abuse moral panics and the post-feminist blindspot. Feminist Media Studies 9(2): 173–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Christodoulidis, Emilios. 2009. Strategies of rupture. Law and Critique 20: 3–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dabhoiwala, Faramerz. 2010. Lust and liberty. Past and Present 207: 89–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Edwards, Susan. 2009. Justice Devlin’s legacy: A battered woman ‘caught’ in time. Criminal Law Review 12: 851–869.Google Scholar
  9. Goodrich, Peter. 1999. The critic’s love of the law: Intimate observations on an insular jurisdiction. Law and Critique 10(3): 343–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Heaton, Russell. 2001. Anything goes: R v Smith (Morgan). Nottingham Law Journal 10: 50–56.Google Scholar
  11. Heinze, Eric. 2009. ‘Were it not against our laws’: Oppression and resistance in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Legal Studies 29(2): 230–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Howe, Adrian. 2000. Homosexual advances in law: Murderous excuse, pluralised ignorance and the privilege of unknowing. In Sexuality in the legal arena, ed. D. Herman, and C. Stychin. London: Athlone.Google Scholar
  13. Howe, Adrian. 2002. Provoking polemic: Provoked killings and the ethical paradoxes of the postmodern feminist condition. Feminist Legal Studies 10: 39–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Howe, Adrian. 2004. Provocation in crisis—Law’s passion at the crossroads? Australian Feminist Law Journal 21: 55–77.Google Scholar
  15. Howe, Adrian. 2008a. Sex, violence and crime: Foucault and the ‘man’ question. Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge-Cavendish.Google Scholar
  16. Howe, Adrian. 2008b. ‘Yes, minister, sex violence has failed’—It’s time for sex, violence and crime in a postmodern frame. In Sex as crime, ed. G. Letherby, P. Birch, K. Williams, and M. Cain. Collumpton, Devon: Willan Publishers.Google Scholar
  17. Howe, Adrian. 2010. Every time you said ‘penis’: Men’s violence, victim advocacy and impermissible speech. Australian Feminist Studies 25(64): 209–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hunter, Rosemary. 2006. Law’s (masculine) violence: Reshaping jurisprudence’. Law and Critique 17: 27–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Law Commission. 2004. Partial defences to murder. Report no. 290. London: Law Commission.Google Scholar
  20. Law Commission. 2006. Murder, manslaughter and infanticide. Project 6 of the ninth programme of law reform. London: Law Commission.Google Scholar
  21. Leader-Elliot, Ian. 1997. Passion and insurrection in the law of sexual provocation. In Sexing the subject of law, ed. N. Naffine, and R. Owens. North Ryde, NSW: LBC Information Services.Google Scholar
  22. Leung, Gilbert, and Matthew Stone. 2009. Otherwise than hospitality: A disputation on the relation of ethics to law and politics. Law and Critique 20: 193–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Macklem, Timothy, and Gardner, John. 2001. Compassion with respect? Nine fallacies in R v Smith. Criminal Law Review 623–635.Google Scholar
  24. Magnusson, Lynne. 2004. ‘Voice potential’: Language and symbolic capital in Othello. In Shakespeare and language, ed. C.M.S. Alexander. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Martin, Randall. 2005. Introduction. In William Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors, ed. S. Wells. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  26. McRobbie, Angela. 2009. The aftermath of feminism: Gender, culture and social change. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Minkkinen, Paul. 2008. The expressionless: Law, ethics and the imagery of suffering. Law and Critique 19: 65–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Murphy, Tim. 1999. BritCrits: Subversion and submissions, past, present and future. Law and Critique 10(3): 237–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nourse, Victoria. 1997. Passion’s progress: Modern law reform and the provocation defence. Yale Law Journal 106: 1331–1443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Parker, Patricia. 1996. Shakespeare from the margins: Language, culture, context. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Sedgwick, Eve. 1993. Tendencies. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Singer, Joseph William. 2009. Critical normativity. Law and Critique 20: 27–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smith, Adam. 1976. An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Smith, Adam. 2009. The theory of moral sentiments. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  35. Taylor, Laurie. 1986. Provoked reason in men and women: Heat-of-passion manslaughter and imperfect self-defence. UCLS Law Review 33: 1679–1735.Google Scholar
  36. Van Dijk, Jan. 2008. In the shadow of Christ? On the use of the word ‘victim’ for those affected by crime. Criminal Justice Ethics 27: 13–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ward, Ian. 2002. The echo of a sentimental jurisprudence. Law and Critique 13: 106–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wiegman, Robyn. 2006. Heteronormativity and the desire for gender. Feminist Theory 7(1): 89–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wiegman, Robyn. 2010. The intimacy of critique: Ruminations on feminism as a living thing. Feminist Theory 11: 79–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zembylas, Michalinos. 2008. Trauma, justice and the politics of emotion: The violence of sentimentality in education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 29(1): 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawQueen Mary, University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations