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The socio-legal response(s) to women who kill: a proposed model for acknowledging their agency

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date10/2014
Number of pages312
Awarding Institution
Award date1/10/2014
Original languageEnglish


This thesis will explore the socio-legal response(s) to women who kill. Interrogating the constructions of “woman” and “femininity” within criminal legal discourse it will argue that the agency (that is, the ability of an individual to choose to act in a particular way) of women who kill is denied, both passively and actively within criminal legal discourse. It will be argued that denying the agency of women who kill is problematic for numerous reasons, including but not limited to, the construction and reinforcement of gender discourse surrounding femininity and issues of justice both being done and being seen to be done for women who kill and for their victims. In order to address these issues, this thesis will therefore propose an agency-based model for women who kill, which will interrupt both the passive and active agency denials which currently exist for these women.