Gender and Law

Course Leader: Dr Ketevan Khutsishvli

Home Institution: Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia

Course pre-requisites: General Law, Social Sciences

Course Overview
The aim of the course is to provide students with an exhaustive framework on gender and law in broad sense, including women’s human rights, considering history of development of this strand of law internationally within the Council of Europe and United Nations. At the end of the course, students will be able to not only understand the actual functioning of the area, but also to evaluate and interpret consciously the future scenarios.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students are aware of complexities of linking gender and law, with a special consideration of general human rights standards to eliminate discrimination against women, specific framework, human rights perspective to challenge obstacles undermining gender equality and enjoyment of basic human rights.   

This course will enable students to develop a sound understanding of a wide field of interaction of gender and law.

Course Content

The syllabus will address gender and law frameworks of including Council of Europe, United Nations and European Union. Separate modules include: 1) Gender Equality, 2) Violence against Women, 3) Domestic Violence.

The international human rights system has adopted both general human rights standards and specific human rights norms to promote gender equality.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Women’s Convention), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is widely referred to as an international bill of rights for women.

Council of Europe Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence is yet another international legal instrument, the domestic legislation and practices of states shall be compliant with.

International Refugee Law expands a definition of "social group" to include women victims of violence against them as a qualified group deserving a right to seek asylum in another jurisdiction. 

European Court of Human Rights started delivering judgments against states on cases involving violence against women and domestic violence.

UN Security Council is adopting resolutions highlighting the importance of including women in peace processes and negotiations to end (armed) conflicts within and among states. And yet gender inequality persists worldwide, with groups of people suffering human rights violations on the grounds of their gender on a daily basis.

So what has the international legal order protecting and promoting gender equality achieved to date and what role does it have to play in challenging the multiple obstacles that prevent millions across the globe from accessing and enjoying their basic human rights? The course will examine these fundamental questions and consider what value the international human rights framework has for securing gender equality.

Instructional Method
Apart from providing the concepts from problematic lens the class will be primarily based on problem-based approach. The students shall be ready for the active participation in the explanation of the topic as an introduction. 

Students, during the learning of the topics of the module, will have to do simulations, as well as deal with real topics related to the issues of interest of the course in a form of doing a case study.

Simulation will be led as a recreation of a real-world situation, designed to explore key elements of that situation.

Conceptual introduction of simulation into this course is based on the following: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” (Hertel & Millis, p. ix, 2002).

Required Course Materials

Rubenstein, K., Young, K.G., eds. (2016) The Public Law of Gender: From the Local to the Global, Cambridge  

Chappell, L., (2016) The Politics of Gender Justice at the International Criminal Court, Oxford

Meloy, M.L., Miller, S.L., (2011) The Victimization of Women: Law, Policies, and Politics, Oxford

Class participation – 10%

Simulation – 30% (during the first week)

Moot Court – 30% (during the second week)

Final exam – 30% (at the end of the course)