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Law 350 - Gender and the Law

(Full unit - 1st and 2nd terms)

This course seeks to explain, analyse and evaluate some of the legal rules, concepts and values governing and regulating gender and the law.  The module will take law as an object of study and seek to examine the relationship between gender and the law.  It will explore the notion that law is a representation of a world that has very distinctive and idiosyncratic characteristics (such as bigotry and discrimination).  Students will be introduced to some of the theoretical basis regarding the socio-legal construction of gender (as distinct from the socio-legal construction of sex).  The module explores legal rules and practices that make classifications on the social consequences of sex and gender.

Outline Syllabus; likely to include; Introduction to Gender Studies; Feminist Jurisprudence; Introduction to Michael Foucault; Introduction to Judith Butler; Introduction to Queer Theory; Exploring the difference(s) between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’; Pornography; Gendered War Crimes; Constructions of gender in popular discourse; Body Modification; Discrimination in the work place. (The syllabus may very well change according to the guest lecturers on the course).

This course is only available to final year students.


Coursework - 100%.

Recommended Reading

There is no one set text but reading may include:

J. Bridgeman & S. Millns Feminist Perspectives on Law Sweet & Maxwell: London.

Caplan, P. "Sex, Sexuality and Gender" The Cultural Construction of Sexuality.

Collier, R; (1995); Masculinity, Law and the Family; London: Routledge.

N.Naffine and R.J Owens (Eds); Sexing the Subject of Law; Sydney: Sweet and Maxwell.

S.Edwards; Sex, Gender & the Law; Kent: Croom Helm.

Foucault, M (1984) The History of Sexuality, vol.1

Weeks, J (1986) Sexuality

Smart, C. (1989) Feminism and the Power of Law.

Ngaire Naffine and Rosemary Owens, (eds) (1997) Sexing the Subject of Law. Sydney: Law Book Company.

Margaret Thornton, (ed) (2002) Romancing the Tomes: Popular Culture, Law and Feminism.

Edwards, Lilian and Charlotte Waelde. (eds.) (2000)(2nd ed) Law and the Internet: a framework for electronic commerce. Oxford: Hart.

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