Instructor(s): Rebecca Cook

For graduate students, the course number is LAW6021H.

This course satisfies either the Perspective or the International/Comparative/Transnational
course requirement.

Note: Students may find it helpful to have taken or be taking Public International Law and International Human Rights Law (or equivalent).

Note: This course serves as a pre-requisite to some of the international human rights internships.

This course addresses the challenges of achieving substantive gender equality under different constitutional and human rights regimes. The first part of the course will examine the effectiveness of several key court decisions in achieving gender equality at the national, regional and international levels. The second part of the course will explore some of the theoretical and methodological challenges that have surfaced in applying gender equality principles. The third part of the course will focus on the opportunities and challenges of achieving particular dimensions of equality, such its redistribution, recognition, participation and transformative dimensions. The course aims to go beyond a formalistic understanding of legal obligations in order to examine the complexities of achieving gender equality in different contexts.

80% written work in the form of three short papers (about 2,100-2,500 words each, which is about 9 pages) analyzing the reading materials assigned for class. One paper must be written for each of the three seminar parts. A limited number of students may arrange with the professor to write a SUYRP in the course. If a student completes the SUYRP, that paper will constitute 80% of the grade and will replace the three short papers. All students will be evaluated on 20% class participation (10% contributions to class discussion, 5% performance during on-call day(s); 5% attendance).

At a Glance

First Term
Perspective course


15 JD
3 Political Science


M: 2:10 - 4:00