Introduction

Rosemary Hunter

Abstract


The 2012 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting included an author-meets-readers session devoted to Emma Cunliffe's book Murder, Medicine and Motherhood (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2011). The book concerns the trial and (in Cunliffe's view wrongful) conviction of Kathleen Folbigg in NSW, Australia, for the deaths of her four children.  Following the session, we invited members of the panel to write up their comments for feminists@law. We are pleased to publish here reflections on the book by Eve Darian-Smith and Mehera San Roque, and a response by Emma Cunliffe. Darian-Smith's review focuses on Cunliffe's exemplary socio-legal methodology, while San Roque's commentary focuses on the issues of expert evidence, the (inadequate) restrictions on the introduction of tendency and coincidence evidence, and the gendered nature of this evidence in the trials of several women accused of killing their children. In her response, Cunliffe discusses the various contingencies that resulted in her PhD being centred on the Folbigg case, and ponders the ethical position of the researcher who comes to believe that she has uncovered a miscarriage of justice.

Keywords


evidence law; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; Kathleen Folbigg; Emma Cunliffe; Uniform Evidence Law; research methods

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