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LAW4151 - Law, gender and feminism 406

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Dr Fiona Hum


Not offered in 2007


Introduction to feminist legal theory which presents a fundamental challenge to existing knowledge about law by questioning 'taken for granted' assumptions about gender, gender roles and neutrality of legal knowledge and practice. Themes such as public/private distinction, ideas of neutrality or objectivity in law, concepts of equality, difference and discrimination, equal or different treatment of men and women, and differences within these categories provide a framework for analysis. Sex and sexuality, family relationships, women's economic dependence or independence, legal construction of gender and the critique of male-centred concepts of equality and human rights.


On completion of this unit students should have

  1. acquired an understanding of the basic themes and major issues of feminist legal theory;
  2. developed the ability to critically analyse and evaluate the law's treatment of questions of gender and personal identity and the effect of gender on legal knowledge; and
  3. practised and improved their research and writing skills, and their ability to carry out research in and about law from a feminist perspective, as well as their skills in oral presentation through class/ group participation and learning to understand, share and accept differing points of view.


Research Paper (3,000 words): 40%
Examination (1 hour writing time plus 30 minutes reading time):60% OR Examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading time): 100%

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week.


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104