Netherlands, Utrecht

International Law from a Gender Perspective

when 18 July 2016 - 22 July 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 ECTS
fee EUR 750

Justice is to be done regardless of money, race, etc., but also regardless of gender. However, the law, including international law, is not a perfect system, and just like the people who made it, it is biased. This interactive, one-week course will look at law from a gender perspective, encompassing cis, gay, trans and intersex perspectives. The focus is primarily on human rights but will cut across other areas of international law, such as refugee law. Through lectures, excursion(s), and group assignments, topical issues will be explored and analysed, linking theory and practice.
The image of blindfolded Lady Justice is well known. The blindfold indicates the impartiality of the law. Justice must be done regardless of money, race, etc., but also regardless of gender. However, the law is not a perfect system and, just like the people who made it, it is biased. This is also true for international law, including human rights law.

In this intensive and interactive one-week course international law will be studied from a gender perspective. Gender is understood here in a broad sense including cis, gay, trans and intersex perspectives. The emphasis will be on human rights, but the course will cut across related disciplines in international law, such as international humanitarian law, international criminal law and refugee law.

The course will start by looking into the historical development of the engagement with (international) law from a gender perspective, and an introduction to the major legal instruments (CEDAW, Yogyakarta Principles), concepts (gender, universality and equality), and theories, e.g. on conflicting rights and on stereotyping. These will be dealt with in more detail by studying a number of topical issues, such as reproductive and relational rights, freedom of religion, gender-related violence, the right to asylum, and sex work. For students interested in specific gender issues that will not be explicitly dealt with, it is possible to write their paper on that topic.

Through lectures, discussions, group assignments, a mini moot court, and an excursion participants will not only gain knowledge and an understanding of this very topical issue, but also acquire skills to analyse issues from a gender perspective, and the ability to link theory and practice and apply it to specific situations. The course is designed for students and professionals with an interest in gender issues, but is also highly recommended for anyone who intends to work in any legal field, but of course especially in the area of international law.

This course is part of the special track: Human Rights and Gender

Course leader

Dr. Marjolein van den Brink

Target group

The course is designed for students and professionals with an interest in international human rights law and/or gender studies.

Course aim

The aim of the course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the issue of gender bias in (international) law, and developing skills to make legal gender analyses.

Fee info

EUR 750: Course + course materials + housing
EUR 550: Course + course materials

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