This chapter provides an overview of the intersection between international law and feminism. It predominantly discusses scholarly writing, but also some major documents and institutions. The material first emphasizes how feminism has developed within various international law subfields. Then it focuses on a major offshoot from traditional international legal jurisprudence known as Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). Next, the chapter shows how an international law focus strengthens and broadens traditionally US-oriented feminist legal theory. The related field of comparative law, involving the law of one country or several countries, is briefly covered. The next and major section then highlights Critical Race Feminism, an emphasis on women of color, an area that intersects with every area previously reviewed. The conclusion notes the work that remains to be done.
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Woodrow Barfield and Alexander Williams
Advances in virtual and augmented reality technology and in the software to produce virtual worlds have allowed virtual avatars to be used with increasing frequency for a range of activities. But with improvements in the technology to create virtual and augmented reality worlds have come corresponding issues of law and policy which apply to the avatars that represent the human presence in virtual worlds. This chapter discusses several issues of law which relate to the design and use of virtual avatars, with a specific focus on avatars that are gaining in intelligence and operating with more and more autonomy from humans. Virtual avatars are increasingly not simply entities under the control of real-world users, as with avatars found in many online virtual reality games, but rather are becoming more autonomous actors, generating their own decisions and solutions to problems which may not always be intelligible or transparent to the real-world users they represent. Additionally, it is the case that increasingly smart avatars operating with greater autonomy raise significant legal issues beyond those of “human-controlled” avatars, not the least of which is whether the avatars themselves deserve legal rights.