Law and Gender

5 Dec 2022 to 16 Dec 2022

The course aims at introducing the main gender-realated theories – beyond its binary construction – and their implications for law, policy and society, by providing a historical and diachronic overview of the crucial conceptual debates.

First, the course will start with an account of the main theories – including waves of feminism, LGBTQI+ (Queer) perspectives, and intersectionality – from a philosophical, sociological and legal point of view, by linking them with the development of social movements across time and geographical contexts. This will help students to deepen different epistemologies and the contemporary discourse on the relation between gender and law in theory and “in action”.

Secondly, the course will discuss how the aforesaid theories have been translated into legal texts and policy at different levels of law- and policy-making, with a focus on the international and European ones. A (non exhaustive) selection of national legislations advancing gender-related rights will also be analysed. At the same time, exisiting gaps in the law will be examined.

Lastly, the course will offer students the opportunity to discuss some landmark judgements, in order to explore judges’ reasoning, the extent to which the suggested case-law mirrors (or not) gender-based instances, and the relevance that Feminist, Queer and intersectional  elaborations would have in the judicial interpretation.  


8 lessons (16 hours) consisting of presentation of the topic (lecture; aprox. 90 min.) and debate (aprox. 50 min) from Monday to Thursday. Friday will be dedicated to group study of case-studies. The assessment will take into account students’ active participation in class and home assignment on the development of one of the cases