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The subject takes a theoretical, doctrinal, critical and practical approach to the law as it affects gender, sexuality and sexual orientation and identity. It will explore how the law creates and responds to issues and experiences of diverse communities, and the role of lawyers to achieve legal reform for those communities. Divided into two parts, in the first part of the subject, students will learn about the law, legal issues, and theoretical perspectives on current legal issues in the field of law and gender, law and sexualities, and law and intersectionalities. The topics will traverse ideas of rights and freedoms, laws of crime and property, and places of work and home. In the second part of the subject, supported by guest speakers, students will learn about law reform, legal change, and the role, experience and capacity of legal activism. From year to year topics may include global movements for marriage equality, the push for trans rights in Australia and abroad, the movement to develop LGBT hate crime laws in the US, gender-based violence in the Australian city, region and home, and decriminalisation movements in a development context. Students will translate their learning of the law and legal theories from the first part of the subject into ideas and strategies to change the law in the second part of the subject.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who successfully completes this subject will have:
- A sophisticated, theoretically and doctrinally grounded understanding of contemporary legal issues in the field of gender and sexual orientation and identity and intersectionality studies.
- An enhanced ability to analyse and reflect critically and meaningfully on the law as it affects diverse communities, and the need for law reform.
- A practical and theoretical understanding into the processes and strategies for law reform.
- Acquired insights and skills into the role and capacity for lawyers to act as activists for legal change.
Upon successful completion of the subject, students will have developed and demonstrated the following skills:
- Creative and strategic thinking skills, including the ability to gather information, understand interests and context, and devise ways to advance a law reform agenda;
- Personal and professional skills, including learning autonomously, devising a law reform project, presenting the project, self-reflection on performance and the role of lawyers;
- Communication skills, especially developing skills and methods to communicate with various actors in the legal and political system; and
- Research and reflection skills, including the ability to engage in high-level analysis and critical reflection, and to develop and articulate legal reform ideas based on theoretical and doctrinal knowledge of the law.
Last updated: 9 July 2020