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Bri Lee - Eggshell Skull

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Eggshell skull is a legal doctrine that a defendant must ‘take their victim as they find them.’ If a single punch kills someone because of their thin skull, that victim’s weakness cannot mitigate the seriousness of the crime.

But what if it also works the other way? What if a defendant on trial for sexual crimes has to accept his ‘victim’ as she comes: a strong, determined accuser who knows the legal system and who will not back down until justice is done?

Scorching, self-scouring: a young woman fields her steel and how to wield it.
— Helen Garner

Bri Lee began her first day of work at the Queensland District Court as a bright-eyed judge’s associate. Two years later she was back as the complainant in her own case.

This is the story of Bri’s journey through the Australian legal system: first as the daughter of a policeman, then as a law student, and finally as a judge’s associate in both metropolitan and regional Queensland, where justice can look very different, especially for women.

Eggshell Skull is a fierce and eloquent memoir that addresses both Bri’s own reckoning with the past as well as with the stories around her. This book is a haunting appraisal of modern Australia.

Hear Bri in conversation with feminartsy Editor in Chief/Founder Zoya Patel

Content warning: This event deals with themes of sexual violence and may include explicit discussion of sexual assault.

Tickets: $12 (includes a complimentary glass of house wine or soft drink)

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Participant Bios

Bri Lee is an author, freelance writer and editor, and the Founding Editor & Manager of the quarterly feminist publication Hot Chicks with Big Brains. She was the inaugural recipient of the Kat Muscat Fellowship in 2016, and one of the 2017 Griffith Review Fellows. She is currently a Research Assistant to Prof. Jonathan Crowe at Bond University where together they are researching potential legislative updates to improve the way the law treats women. Bri graduated from the University of Queensland with a combined law/arts degree. She’s qualified to practice law, but doesn’t.

Zoya Patel founded Feminartsy in 2014, following four years as Editor-In-Chief of Lip Magazine. She has been writing about feminist issues since the age of 15, with her work published widely. Zoya was Highly Commended in the Scribe Publishing Non-Fiction Prize 2015, was the 2014 recipient of the Anne Edgeworth Young Writers' Fellowship, and was named the 2015 ACT Young Woman of the Year. Her debut book, No-Country Woman, will be released by Hachette Australia in August 2018.