Faculty of Law

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Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton First semester 2011 (Day)


Introduction to feminist legal theory 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 (2,000 words): 40%
Examination 2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading time): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Fiona Hum

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week.


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104