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Over the course of the past three decades countries across the world have been forced to reckon with revelations of historical violence against women and children in state institutions. Taking an international and comparative approach, the module explores how States have responded to survivors’ demands for justice and recognition. Students are introduced to key ideas in feminist legal theory, criminology, post colonial theory and transitional justice on the nature and harms of state institutional violence against women and children. This is followed by a selection of case studies examining political and legal responses including: State apologies; criminal sanctions for individual and corporate wrongdoing; redress scheme for survivors; and public inquiries and truth commissions. Students will investigate the role of law and legal institutions in vindicating, deferring or contesting survivors’ justice claims.
This module surveys feminist legal theory, gender theory and key ideas in transitional justice criminology and post colonial studies. It also examines selected national and international case studies (from eg the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse in Ireland; Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales).