Bond University

Article Title

Women and the Epistemology of Corporations Law


In order to effect changes to law school culture, it is critical that the central epistemological assumptions of legal education be challenged. Gender analysis is valuable for corporations lawyers because it provides a way to challenge the epistemology which is fundamental to corporate law scholarship. This article proposes to locate the participation of women in corporations law. In doing so, it suggests that the “knowledge” of corporations law which is taught in Australian law schools masks the experiences of women in this area. When one begins to explore the issue of gender and corporations law, one’s immediate impression is that women are invisible. The protagonists in both corporate activity and corporations law always seem to be men. Corporations law is based upon a philosophy of liberal autonomy which has as its basic premise the self-interested male. The law has sought to preserve the liberal philosophy in this area and has regulated behaviour only when individual self-interest has caused certain kinds of quantifiable harms. Implicit and explicit in the law of corporations are such values as competition, hierarchy aggression and strict classification of roles.