- Code LAWS8069
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by ANU Law School
- ANU College ANU College of Law
- Course subject Laws
- Areas of interest Law, Asian Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
This course introduces students to the legal systems South Asia, and considers the relationship between law, governance and development in the region.
The course will cover key academic and policy debates about law and development in South Asia, including:
- the general features of law and legal systems in countries of South Asia, including the influence of legal transplants, state-building and Rule of Law initiatives, revolutionary change, religious law, custom and tradition;
- the multiple meanings of ‘law’ in the social, political, judicial and legislative contexts of the South Asia;
- introduction to and critical consideration of theoretical frameworks employed to make sense of a diversity of social, economic and political conditions in the region, such as liberal-democratic theory, rights discourse, Rule of Law theory, Orientalism, postcolonial legal theory, and law and development discourses;
- key issues relating to constitutionalism and state-building, including representative democracy, political movements and emerging civil society networks;
- international territorial disputes, domestic challenges of regionalism, ethnic and/or sectarian strife;
- law and human rights, including debates about the status and recognition of religious law, particularly those of gender discrimination and minority rights, and formal and informal justice mechanisms; and
- the role of law in bringing socio-economic change, tackling wealth and power disparities, equitable use of natural resources and foreign aid, undermining elite control of the political economy.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- have an understanding of the contemporary shape as well as historical evolution of the legal systems and political structures of South Asian countries;
- be able to critically analyse South Asian laws and the role of legal institutions as possible means of achieving social justice and political change;
- be able to evaluate contemporary academic and policy debates about ‘good governance’, ‘rule of law’, ‘access to justice’ and ‘structural reforms’, particularly as these relate to allocations of power and resources along class, religious/caste, ethno-linguistic, regional and gender lines.
- be able to access and analyse South Asian legal materials, and to employ a variety of tools and methodological approaches useful for legal research and practice in South Asian countries.
- Research Paper (5000-600 words) (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Three in-class individual and group assignments (10% each) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Class Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week.
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Requisite and Incompatibility
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.