LAW4541 - Gender and the law - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Janice Richardson

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Not offered in 2019


If a new LLB Honours elective is established, the standard pre-requisites will automatically be added. The standard pre-requisites are as follows:

a)For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015:

LAW1101 Introduction to legal reasoning

LAW1104 Research and writing

b)For students enrolled in the LLB (Honours) course from 2015:

LAW1111 Foundations of law

LAW1112 Public law and statutory interpretation

LAW1113 Torts

LAW1114 Criminal law 1

LAW2101 Contract A

LAW2102 Contract B

LAW2111 Constitutional law

LAW2112 Property A

c)For other students:

Equivalent introductory units from their faculty or another university.


1)Introduction: feminist issues in relation to law: basic concepts and legal categories: legal divisions - public and private law - some problems with the public/private divide; brief history of women and common law; legal personhood; equality/ difference debate; sex/gender; intersectional issues: race, class, disability, sexuality - the "embarrassed etc" Hidden histories and interest in the future.

2)Specific subject areas: these may vary with legal changes. The following is indicative:

Torts law: Why do women receive lower damages? What does this tell us about law?

What is the "reasonable person"?

Consent to medical treatment regarding pregnancy

Privacy issues c

Criminal law: Historical perspectives on domestic violence

Contracts: reflection on consent and what is meant by a contract;

Is the marriage contract a contract?

The historical relationship between marriage contract and employment contract.

Public law: what is a citizen?

3)Gender and the future of the legal profession; women as judges; feminist issues on AI and gender bias;

the impact of neo-liberalism on law: gender implications

4)Gender in the Law School - future of Law Schools

5)Concluding ideas - what creates social change?


On completion of this unit, students will:

a)Demonstrate knowledge and evaluation of the relationship between gender and law, for example focusing on legal subject areas.

b)Assess relevant academic literature and apply the results of the research to the specific issues under reflection.

c)Critically assess, and communicate both orally and in writing, developments and challenges in relation to gender and the law.

d)Reflect on their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback on their classroom performance to support personal and professional development.


  1. Group presentation in class (20%), with written submission of 1,000 words (20%); and

2 )Take Home Examination (3000 words) (60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcome for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information