• Class Number 4646
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Ntina TZOUVALA
    • Dr Ntina TZOUVALA
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 05/07/2021
  • Class End Date 03/09/2021
  • Census Date 16/07/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 06/07/2021
SELT Survey Results

Gender issues, particularly in relation to women’s status and rights, occupy a prominent place in debates about aid and development. Law is often perceived to play a crucial role in shaping men’s and women’s social, economic and political opportunities, but also in the ways we conceive of gender in the first place (including the binary construction ‘men/women’).

This course explores the relationship between gender, law and development in historical and comparative perspective. It introduces a range of conceptual frameworks, which are explored through an examination of prominent aid and development issues, such as: 

  • Rights to land; natural resources;
  • Climate change;
  • Employment and labour;
  • Food production, distribution and consumption.

These thematic areas provide an opportunity for students to critically examine the presumed and actual relationship between international and domestic legal frameworks and gender inequality, as well as consider debates about the role and recognition of customary laws and institutions. Particular attention will be paid to the insights of postcolonial feminists and critical race theorists and the work of women of colour. The course will also centre questions of conflict and ideological diversity when it comes to gender, law and development and encourage the students to think critically about these three concepts and their intersection.

This unit draws on the extensive scholarly and applied expertise in gender and development at the ANU and is designed to encourage student engagement and participation. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of conceptual and theoretical debates regarding the relationship between law, gender and development.
  2. Investigate, consider and explain debates about law and gender relations in the histories and social landscapes of particular countries;
  3. Identify the conceptual underpinnings of a development project or policy and consider the likely gender impacts of it;
  4. Critically reflect on their own experiences of gender and development and the conceptual underpinnings of their own assumptions, approaches and methods; and
  5. Plan and execute a complex legal research project and produce original scholarship on gender relations, law and development.

Research-Led Teaching

Dr Tzouvala has researched and published extensively on matters related to international law and political economy, feminist legal theory, and the history of international law. She is also currently a Senior Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. This course intersects with her interests in the ways law shapes North-South relations and her emphasis on the social justice implications of legal reform.

Required Resources

This course is highly interactive. Lectures and group activities will be focused on discussion of the prescribed readings and the views they represent. Readings have been chosen with a view to covering competing perspectives of the issues being discussed. Both the pre-recorded lectures and the class exercises are designed based on the assumption that students have read the core readings before the class. All prescribed materials will be available via an e-brick and/or uploaded to the Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

Extensions, late submission and penalties: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Word length and excess word penalties: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Further information about the course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Law and Development: History and Core Concepts
2 The Evolution of Law and Development: Locating Gender
3 Law and Gender
4 Where is the 'Law' in Gender, Law and Development?
5 Gay Liberation or Global Homocapitalism?
6 Gender, Property Rights and Access to Resources
7 Gender, Food and Development
8 Gender, Labour and Development

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Reflective Class Notes 30 % 19/07/2021 23/07/2021 1,2,4
Class Presentation 10 % * * 1,2,3
Book Review Essay 60 % 30/08/2021 17/09/2021 1,2,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


For all courses taught in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program. Students are expected to attend all classes.

If circumstances arise which are beyond a student’s control and they are unable to attend a class, the student should contact the Course Convenor in advance (where possible), so that the convenor can adjust their expectations in relation to numbers for that class. If it is not possible to give advance notice, students should send the convenor an email as soon as possible with evidence to support the reason for failure to attend. 

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 19/07/2021
Return of Assessment: 23/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Reflective Class Notes

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30%

Return of Assessment: 23/07/2021

Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Reflective Class Notes (2 notes of 900 words each, 1,800 words in total)

Due: Both class notes need to be submitted before 5pm on Monday the 19th of July 2021. Neither class note may be submitted earlier than 5pm on Friday the 9th of July 2021. Late submission is permitted, but a mark penalty will be imposed. If you would like feedback on your work before 50% of the teaching period elapses, you must submit your first class note by 5 pm 9 July 2021.

Format: This course will rely heavily on class participation and discussion. At the end of each teaching week (5th-9th July and 12th to 16th of July) you are expected to submit a reflective class note of 900 words. You must do one note for each week of the two teaching weeks of the course. The note may reflect (amongst other things) on how a class discussion made you reconsider your view on an issue, how our class activities fit with or illustrated one or more of your prescribed readings, or it may build and reflect further upon one of the class exercises. 

Please note that these are indicative examples and that the precise content of the reflective class note will be entirely up to you to decide, provided that you show awareness of and engagement with the broader questions raised in class. 

Your reflective case note will be assessed taking into account the following criteria: 

  • Familiarity with and understanding of class discussions;
  • Ability to combine theory and practical examples;
  • Reflexivity and analytical thinking;
  • Appropriate and/or creative format. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Class Presentation

Value: 10 %

Due Date: 22/07/2021 or 23/07/2021. Due to the nature of the task no late submission is permitted. 

Return of Assessment: 02/08/2021 

Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Length: The length of each presentation will depend on the number of the presenters. Each student should present for at least 10 minutes. 

Due: The presentations will take place on the 22nd and the 23rd of July between 9:30am and 12:30pm. Individual slots will be allocated by the 16th of July. 

Format: Collective class presentation.

One of the core activities in this class will be to read together some of the most influential books on development and to discuss what they do and do not tell us about gender, law and development. This task will assist in preparing you for the book review essay (task 3). The class presentation on each book will be collective (groups of 3-4, depending on the final registration numbers for the course), and the book review essay will be sole-authored. 

 You are free to decide on the precise format of your presentation. It can be a ‘conventional’ presentation accompanied by slides etc/ a mock ‘interview’/ a book panel supposedly taking place in a conference and so on. You may choose to use slides, video or other media to assist your presentation. Each presentation will be followed by a brief class discussion of no more than 20 minutes. 

Your team presentation will be assessed taking into account the following criteria: 

  • Ability to work as a team and to deliver a coherent presentation, which also affords each member of the team the opportunity to participate on an equitable basis; 
  • Choice of format that is appropriate, accessible, and engaging; 
  • Clarity of your main thesis and of any secondary arguments; 
  • Comprehension of the main argument/methodology/strengths and weaknesses/broader relevance of the reviewed book

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 30/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 17/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5

Book Review Essay

Value: 60 %

Due Date: 30/08/2021 

Return of Assessment: 17/09/2021 

Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5

Length: 4,000 words

Due: 5pm on Monday the 30th of August 2021. Late submission is permitted, but a mark penalty will be imposed.

Format: Your sole-authored book review essay will be assessed taking into account the following criteria: 

  • Comprehension of the main argument/methodology/strengths and weaknesses/broader relevance of the reviewed book. 
  • Ability to situate the reviewed book within the broader themes and questions of the course. 
  • The quality of your research, including, but not limited to: the breadth and depth of your research; the choice and combination of primary and secondary materials; the ability to synthesise different materials rather than simply quoting or summarising them. 
  • Construction of a clear argument that is persuasive and grounded on your materials. Engagement with counter-arguments will generally be considered a strength. 
  • Presentation, style and referencing: the clarity of the structure and the organisation of the paper/appropriate referencing that acknowledging the work of others and its impact on the arguments of the student.

The five books we will be focusing on are the following: 

  1. William Easterly, The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (Basic Books, 2015). 
  2. Arturo Escobar, Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (Princeton University Press, 1995). 
  3. Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Verso, 2018). 
  4. Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (Anchor Books, 2000).
  5. Walt W. Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (Cambridge University Press, 3rd edn, 1991). 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).


Research Interests

Dr Ntina Tzouvala joined the ANU College of Law as a Senior Lecturer in July 2020. Prior to this, she was an ARC Laureate Postdoctoral Fellow at Melbourne Law School working on civil wars, intervention and international law. Her work focuses on the political economy of international law, feminist legal theory, and on the intersections between international law, race and capitalism. In 2020, she was appointed Senior Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.


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