Reading Analysis

  • Uncategorized



Inthe article ‘SocialMovements and Judicial Empowerment’Miriam Smith explores the effects of judicial empowerment on socialmovements utilizing a case of gay and lesbian rights movement basedin Canada. The author of this article firmly believes that legalempowerment is the major contributor to the existence of gay andlesbian protection in Canada. She further provides evidence to showhow the Canadian courts have supported same-sex marriage (Smith,2005). This critical review will deeply examine the article andevaluate the arguments posed by the author using a set criterion.

Thisarticle examines the consequences of the legal empowerment that hasbeen bestowed on gays and lesbians’ movements in Canada. The authorstates the various protections that same-sex couples have beenguaranteed resulting in an increase of lesbians and gays in Canada.Some of the protections include protection from housing andemployment discrimination, sentencing provisions in the criminal lawfor individuals mistreating them because of their sexual orientationas well as adoption rights of same-sex couples in various Canadianprovinces (Smith, 2005). The author further asserts that the same-sexcouples from Canada are campaigning for the public policy to beobserved even beyond Canadian borders including the United States andBritain.

Someof the implications of the legal empowerment on same-sex couplemovement include: coming up with a new type of social movementpolitics and provision of incentives to the litigation organizations.Other implications include: shaping the interpretation of equalityrights to incorporate gay and lesbian rights as well as providingsignificant positive legal decisions that laid a foundation forpublic policy change (Smith, 2005).

Althoughthis article has well-supported arguments to support the thesis onthe impacts of judicial empowerment on same-sex couple movement, thearticle has various weaknesses. The author of the article fails togive the final stand in response to the article she is not clearwhether she supports the move of the judiciary to empower gays andlesbians’ social movements.

Secondly,the author seems to be biased by her arguments where she states thatlegal empowerment has forced gay and lesbian rights onto the Canadianpolitical agenda. Thirdly, as much as the author explores the impactof legal empowerment, she fails to come up with solutions orrecommendations to change the current situation in Canada regardingsame-sex marriage legal empowerment. Thirdly, the article seemsargumentative but with little evidence to support the claim. Most ofthe prove posed by the author to reveal the impact of legalempowerment of gays and lesbians lack evidence making the author’swork to lose credibility.

Thiscritical review has evaluated the ‘SocialMovements and Judicial Empowerment’by Miriam Smith. She provides arguments to support her work on theeffects of legal empowerment of social movements. However, thearticle is full of bias, argumentative writing with weak evidence aswell as failing to state her stand regarding the topic clearly. Theseweaknesses weaken her arguments hence reducing the article’scredibility.


Smith,M. (2005). Social Movements and Judicial Empowerment: Courts, PublicPolicy, and Lesbian and Gay Organizing in Canada.&nbspPolitics&amp Society,&nbsp33(2),327-353.