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Forming sexualities as judicial virtues

Moran, Leslie J. (2011) Forming sexualities as judicial virtues. Sexualities 14 (3), pp. 273-289. ISSN 1363-4607.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363460711400808

Abstract

This article explores the formation of sexuality in the institution of the judiciary. Its object of study is an archive made up of the texts of swearing in ceremonies of newly appointed judges of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia. The texts, records of public events, demonstrate a remarkable consistency of general content and tone. They take the form of what might best be described as life writing (biography and autobiography). They have a strong hagiographic quality. Dedicated to writing the life of the newly appointed judge, they are a particular form of life writing devoted to the portrayal of state officials. As such they have a double function formulating and fashioning the subject not only as an exemplary individual life but also as a subject that embodies the virtues of the judicial institution. Each swearing-in document offers a textual portrait that makes and makes public the values and virtues of the institution of the judge. An important context for this study is an earlier empirical research project on sexual diversity in the judiciary. Key informants in that research advised me that sexuality was unlike the other strands of diversity. It was described as a personal and a private matter: strictly extra judicial. The primary objective of this essay is to explore how, if at all, sexuality is made in these public judicial ceremonies and texts, and more specifically, how the subject’s sexuality is figured as an institutional ideal, as a judicial virtue. In undertaking this task the analysis will also examine some aspects of the role of gender in the formation of the judicial subject as a sexual subject.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): family values, homosociality, judicial virtues, sexuality
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Law
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2011 10:44
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:22
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4476

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