FLP commenter extraordinaire Patrick Seamus notes two new books from Hart Publishing. The first: Judy Fudge and Rosemary Owens, eds., Precarious Work, Women and the New Economy: The Challenge to Legal Norms (2006). According to Hart’s promo for the book:
Globalisation, the shift from manufacturing to services as a source of employment, and the spread of information-based systems and technologies have given birth to a new economy, which emphasises flexibility in the labour market and in employment relations. These changes have led to the erosion of the standard (industrial) employment relationship and an increase in precarious work – work which is poorly paid and insecure. Women perform a disproportionate amount of precarious work. This collection of original essays by leading scholars on labour law and women’s work explores the relationship between precarious work and gender, and evaluates the extent to which the growth and spread of precarious work challenges traditional norms of labour law and conventional forms of legal regulation.The book provides a comparative perspective by furnishing case studies from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Quebec, Sweden, the UK, and the US, as well as the international and supranational context through essays that focus on the IMF, the ILO, and the EU. Common themes and concepts thread throughout the essays, which grapple with the legal and public policy challenges posed by women’s precarious work.
Judy Fudge is currently Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in Toronto, where she teaches employment and labour law. Beginning January 2007, she will be the Lansdowne Chair at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. Rosemary Owens is a Reader in Law at the University of Adelaide, where she researches and teaches in the areas of labour and industrial relations law, Australian constitutional law, and feminist legal theory.
The other title: Mary Jane Mossman, The First Women Lawyers: A Comparative Study of Gender, Law and the Legal Professions (2006). Hart’s promo:
This comparative study explores the lives of some of the women who first initiated challenges to male exclusivity in the legal professions in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Their challenges took place at a time of considerable optimism about progressive societal change, including new and expanding opportunities for women, as well as a variety of proposals for reforming law, legal education, and standards of legal professionalism. By situating women’s claims for admission to the bar within this reformist context in different jurisdictions, the study examines the intersection of historical ideas about gender and about legal professionalism at the turn of the twentieth century. In exploring these systemic issues, the study also provides detailed examinations of the lives of some of the first women lawyers in six jurisdictions: the United States, Canada, Britain, New Zealand and Australia, India, and western Europe. In exploring how individual women adopted different legal arguments in litigated cases, or devised particular strategies to overcome barriers to professional work, the study assesses how shifting and contested ideas about gender and about legal professionalism shaped women’s opportunities and choices, as well as both support for and opposition to their claims. As a comparative study of the first women lawyers in several different jurisdictions, the book reveals how a number of quite different women engaged with ideas of gender and legal professionalism at the turn of the twentieth century.
Mary Jane Mossman is Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Toronto, Canada.
Update: Here are four blogs that cover labor issues: