Women in Law: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

By Rebecca Mae Salokar; Mary L. Volcansek | Go to book overview

IRENE R. CORTES (1920–)

Irene Cortes was the third woman to be appointed to one of Asia’s most important and powerful judicial bodies, the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Prior to her appointment as associate justice of that court in February, 1987, “Dean” Cortes had a long and distinguished career as a professor, scholar, and law school and university administrator. Since her mandatory retirement at age 70 in October, 1990, she has remained active in Philippine legal affairs, currently serving as vice chair of the Supreme Court’s Judicial Planning, Development, and Implementation Office and professor emeritus in the College of Law of the University of the Philippines. Perhaps as important as her formal professional achievements has been Cortes’s involvement in national and international committees and organizations concerned with human rights, legal reform, and, especially, the position and rights of women.


FAMILY BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

Irene R. Cortes was born on October 20, 1920, in Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines. Legazpi is the principal city of the Bicol region, the string of provinces that forms the long tail jutting southeastward into the Pacific Ocean from the Philippines’ largest island, Luzon. Albay’s best-known feature is the active and beautiful Mount Mayon, said to be the world’s most perfect volcanic cone. Though connected to the capital, Manila, by highway, rail, and air routes, Bicol is an agricultural region, producing principally rice and coconuts, and is far from the capital city’s influence.

Cortes was one of ten children of a comfortable Albay family. Her interest in law came naturally and early. Her father had prepared for a law career, but was shipwrecked and unable to return to complete his legal training. Though

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Women in Law: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Editorial Advisory Board vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Florence Ellinwood Allen (1884–1966) 17
  • Mary Arden (1947–) 25
  • Anita Augsburg (1857–1943) 31
  • Suzanne Bastid-Basdevant (1906–) 34
  • Miriam Ben-Porat (1918–) 38
  • Myra Bradwell (1831–1882) 45
  • Beverly Blair Cook (1927–) 51
  • Irene R. Cortes (1920–) 62
  • Takako Doi (1928–) 68
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–) 78
  • Brenda Marjorie Hale (1945–) 88
  • Rosalyn Higgins (1937–) 94
  • Leonilde Iotti (1920–) 101
  • Barbara Charline Jordan (1936–1996) 112
  • Sylvie Kanigi (1953–) 118
  • Carrie Burnham Kilgore (1838–1909) 123
  • Helen Kinnear (1894–1970) 129
  • Claire L’Heureux-DubÉ (1927–) 136
  • Jutta Limbach (1934–) 144
  • Burnita Shelton Matthews (1894–1988) 150
  • Beverley McIachlin (1943–) 159
  • Soia Mentschikoff (1915–1984) 171
  • Constance Baker Motley (1921–) 180
  • Emily Ferguson Murphy (1868–1933) 190
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (1938–) 202
  • Sandra Day O’Connor (1930–) 210
  • Sadako Ogata (1927–) 219
  • Cecilia MuÑoz Palma (1913–) 231
  • Tamar Pelleg-Sryck (1926–) 237
  • Janet Reno (1938–) 248
  • Mary Robinson (1944–) 257
  • Flerida Ruth P. Romero (193?–) 266
  • Simone RozÈs-Ludwig (1920–) 271
  • Wiltraut Rupp-Von BrÜnneck (1912–1977) 277
  • Helga Seibert (1939–) 283
  • Elisabeth Selbert (1896–1986) 288
  • Margaret a. Somerville (1942–) 292
  • Helene StÖcker (1869–1943) 299
  • Helen Suzman (1917–) 304
  • Leah Tsemel (1945–) 312
  • Agathe Uwilingiyimana (1953–1994) 323
  • Simone Veil-Jacob (1927–) 329
  • Bertha Wilson (1923–) 338
  • Appendix 349
  • Selected Bibliography 353
  • Index 357
  • About the Editors and Contributors 371
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