1120 | Sexual Violence and the Law

Course Information

  • 2021-22
  • 1120
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M.
  • III, IV, V
  • Jul 2021
  • Elective Course

Sexual harassment, sexual violence and gender-based violence have increasingly been a site of multiple legal and social contestations. The law appears to be everywhere, and enmeshed in our social articulations, political interventions and public campaigns. It is imperative therefore that we understand how the law looks at  sexual violence, and how the category of sexual violence can or should respond to the law. This course aims to bridge the theory-practice divide by familiarising students with basic elements of the law relating to sexual violence as well as the vast body of feminist commentary on it. Through this course students will be exposed to feminist legal practice in action though the different ways in which lawyers and academics have engaged with, critiqued and built the laws we have today. The course will delve into Criminal law, procedure and evidence law, as well as to some extent Civil and Constitutional law, to broaden our analysis of what legally constitutes sexual violence and gender based violence. Each set of classes will consist of a lecture which will lay down the basic concepts and go over principles that are to be drawn out of the prescribed readings. This will be followed by substantive discussion on a set of questions that are provided to the students before the class. Some classes will require students to conduct interviews/collect testimonials/ frame arguments etc. The reading material includes statutes and legal provisions, case law and either academic papers/popular commentary/news reports/ testimonies of women that are available in the public domain. It may also include F.I.R’s, witness statements, Petitions filed in Court and other pleadings.