General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3239
Course name: Law and Social Justice at the Intersections: Gender, Race, Religion and Sexuality
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: First
Designated research course: Yes
Specialization: Not applicable
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Course offered to non-law students: Yes
Credit point value: 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 30

1.2 Course description

One of the continuing challenges undermining the law effectiveness is its inability to capture within its frame the most marginalized and vulnerable communities. This exclusion or marginalization of particular stakeholders from the legal process has received considerably less attention. Although the theme of access to justice conceptualizes this accessibility gap in some respects, it fails to capture stakeholders who never engage with the legal framework at any stage despite violations or gaps in the realization or implementation of their rights.

This course examines the limits of the law and its reach and assesses the structural and substantive justice gap and its implications for particular groups. The course challenges law framing and structuring of social, legal and political relationships given its mono-dimensional framing of legal issues which fails to capture the complex realities and diversities of life, communities and experiences governed by law. It deconstructs the single factor / frame / category of analysis such as gender, disability, race or sexual orientation to examine how the interpretive framework of the law fails to respond to multiple sites of oppression experienced by a particular individual / group and systemically disadvantages particular categories of persons. The legal system failure to capture within its frame the lived realities of complex lives and relationships today results in the law complicity in systemic and structural oppression. This paradigmatic non-recognition or the forceful fragmentation of particular identities is closely bounded up with identity politics and the historical exclusion of the voices of particular groups from legal and political frameworks. Given law power to give meaning to actions, to determine legal truth and given its promise of equality and justice for all, the course places a magnifying lens on law processes and substance to identify those at the margins of law and to reorient attention to marginalized voices to consider new ways of conceptualizing their authentic realities to achieve inclusive justice in a diverse and complex world.

For the clinical component of the course, depending on the posture of ongoing legal cases or issues, students will have an opportunity to work closely with the course lecturer and NGOs involved in serving clients from these communities to develop a rich grassroots-level understanding of the issues. Students will contribute to the development of a resource or toolkit on multiple, intersectional or additive discrimination and the potential strategies to mobilizing change in discourse, legal practice and social justice paradigms.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Puja Kapai puja@hku.hk CCT 609 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Describe and explain operative elements of Marxist, Feminist and Intersectional Theory and their relevance in understanding social ordering and their impact on social relations.

CLO 2 Use these theories to critically examine the limitations of any one of them to serve as a comprehensive framework for understanding the ordering and structuring of social relations.

CLO 3 Apply their knowledge and understanding of the limitations of existing theories to critically evaluate the law ability to serve as a mechanism for equality, non-discrimination and equal protection of all groups in a range of spheres.

CLO 4 Use this evaluative framework to understand the ustice gap by drawing on contemporary social justice discourse to identify groups that remain excluded from the excluded framework of the law legal remedies.

CLO 5 Apply this evaluative framework to develop a new discourse to highlight the systemic and structural exclusion of the voices and representations of particular communities from law framework for justice.

CLO 6 Work with community partners in developing strategies and solutions to effectuate a paradigm shift to work towards the legal recognition of excluded groups and communities.

2.2 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link: https://course.law.hku.hk/llb-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class participation TBC 20% 1, 5 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5 ,6
Symposium presentation 23 & 30 Nov 2023 15% 1, 3 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5 ,6
Research paper 11 Dec 2023 65% 1, 3 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5 ,6
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by the convenor(s).

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/