Bond University

Article Title

Work and Gender in the Law Curriculum


The construction of the law curriculum in our Law Schools is a crucial matter in the project of engendering the law so that it delivers justice. Inevitably the law curriculum presents a categorisation, or conceptualisation, of the law. The imposition of these categories is significant in a double sense. The world, including the law, exists for us only through categories. These categories comprise our world. They bring order to an otherwise incomprehensible and unmanageable chaos. For us to be able to engage with the world, it must be reduced to manageable categories. However, the categories which divide and construct the world do not exist independently of human community. Furthermore, the power to impose categories upon the world is a creative act which simultaneously constructs the creator as a subject in the world. In the past the law has been the creation of men not women. And in the law women have been constructed as objects not subjects. The process of curriculum reform is thus an opportunity to create ourselves, women, as subjects in the law in a double way. Because the construction of the law and the world through the imposition of categories is so important, I will devote most of my attention to this issue. I will, however, also briefly address three other related points — the importance of always seeing the law in its social context, the issue of resources in the new curriculum and a methodology for teaching and learning in the new curriculum.