Dr Kcasey McLoughlin wins APSA 2017 PHD Thesis Prize

Friday, 20 October 2017


Situating Women Judges on the High Court of Australia: Not Just Men in Skirts?

Dr Kcasey McLoughlin from the Newcastle Law School has won an APSA 2017 PHD Thesis Prize for Best Political Studies PhD. Dr McLoughln's thesis is titled Situating Women Judges on the High Court of Australia: Not Just Men in Skirts?

The judging panel noted that this thesis makes a seminal contribution internationally to understanding the gender politics of constitutional courts and is a worthy winner of the 2017 APSA thesis prize.  McLoughlin’s thesis explored what the arrival of an ‘almost equal’ gender balance (or ‘three of seven’) on the High Court of Australia means for the masculinist gender regime that has long shaped the operations of the court.  Drawing on both political science and law, the thesis examined how the Court’s gender relations have accommodated the presence of women, and the extent to which legal judgments and reasoning have changed as a result of changing gender dynamics on the bench.  Concluding that while the near majority of women judges has had an impact, and that they were not necessarily ‘just men in skirts,’ she found that it will take more than simply the arrival of women judges to dismantle the Court’s gender regime.

Many congratulations Kcasey.


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