Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module LAW43015: International Perspectives on Law and Gender

Department: Law

LAW43015: International Perspectives on Law and Gender

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • • To engage students in a critical introduction to the relationships between law, gender and society. • To encourage students to evaluate established legal concepts, principles and regulations in the light of the main approaches to, and theories of, law and gender. • To develop students' critical awareness of the law in its broader social, political and international context.


  • • Analysis of the main perspectives and theories on the relationships between law, gender and society, from an international perspective. • Analysis of selected topics of international interest (a selection of these topics will run each year): o International and comparative Representation of women in boardrooms and the judiciary; o International and comparative legal regulation of prostitution; o International legal regulation of pornography; o International legal responses to rape; o Human rights and the legal regulation of male circumcision and female genital cutting; o Feminist judging and judgment-writing: o Comparative legal analysis of reproductive autonomy including access to legal abortions and commercial surrogacy; o International perspectives on the criminalisation of same-sex sexuality; o International and comparative perspectives on public health and the criminalisation of HIV transmission/ exposure; o International and comparative perspectives on contemporary debates on the legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to: • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main theoretical approaches to analyses of law, gender and society. • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of selected areas of substantive law.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to: • Evaluate critically the relevance of gender issues in the determination of law and legal policy. • Demonstrate analytical and critical skills in regard to the social implications of existing and proposed laws and legal policies. • Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the significance of law in its social and international context. • Evaluate selected areas of substantive law and legal policy.
Key Skills:
  • Students will develop their skills of: • Independent legal research. • Describing accurately and succinctly materials they have researched, orally and in written work. • Developing coherent and balanced arguments especially in controversial areas of law and policy, including the ability to offer personal and justifiable opinions on the effectiveness of specific laws, the desirability of reform and to recognise and understand competing arguments for reform.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • • The modes of teaching, learning and assessment have been chosen in order to facilitate the achievement of the learning outcomes of the module. • Seminars will be used to develop students' critical and analytical skills and their understanding of the subject area. • The modes of assessment will encourage independent learning and research skills and will assess students' ability to meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Preparation and teaching 134
Seminars 8 weekly 2 hrs 16

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3,000 100%

Formative Assessment:

One essay (1,500 words)

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University