SOAS University of London

School of Law

Gender, Sexuality and Law: Selected Topics

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 2

The objective of this module is to enable students to apply knowledge of feminist legal theory and the study of gender and sexuality to a series of legal problems. The module will provide an indepth study of one, two or three issues relevant to gender and sexuality law reform primarily in the Global South. Through studying juxtaposing non-Western jurisdictions, legislative and judicial approaches the module helps students develop indepth and cross-regional understanding of topics. The module focuses on legal developments in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as the impact of global governance on legal arrangements in non-Western states, to explore the application of transnational and postcolonial approaches. The module acts as part two to the module 'Gender, Sexuality and the Law: theories and methods' which is a prerequisite for this module. The course will employ a range of theoretical perspectives generally covering the major schools of feminist theory, including radical, liberal and cultural feminisms, material, critical race, transnational, postcolonial and queer legal feminisms to a series of contemporary and changing issues and themes. Topics may include: violence, sexuality, labour, care, discrimination, terrorism, marriage, conflict, peace or health,


Gender, Sexuality and Law: Theories and Methodologies

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Enable students to become well versed in the application of theories on gender and sexuality to legal examples, with a specific focus on the SOAS regions
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the theoretical insights of aproaches to gender, sexuality and the law and their application to concrete feminist, queer, LGBTi and women's struggles for law reform
  • Explain specific feminist/gender/sexaulity legal approaches in application to specific law reform contexts, both judicial and legislative
  • Analysis tensions across critical legal approaches and strands on gender and sexuality, while situating these debates within larger legal issues around authority, power and interpretation, as well as the impact of legal enforcement, legal actors and legal pluralism, with a focus on legal policy intiatives in the global South and SOAS regions
  • Demonstrate competence in 1-4 through the submission of written assessments


  • Weekly 2 hour lecture

Method of assessment

  • Coursework: 100% (3000 words)

Suggested reading

  • Halley, J. Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism (Princeton University Press: 2006)
  • Jones, Jackie, Grear, Anna, Fenton, Rachel Anne and Stevenson, Kim (eds), Gender, Sexualities and the Law, Routledge, 2013.
  • Kapur, Ratna, Erotic Justice: Law and the New Politics of Postcolonialism, Routledge 2005
  • Kotiswaran, Prabha, Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labour: Sex Work and the Law in India, Princeton, 2012.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules