Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5406M Theories of Social Justice

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Jen Hendry

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces

LAW5400M Theories of Social Justice

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module offers a different and conceptually diverse approach to theories of law and social justice. It provides students with alternative, contested, and subaltern understandings of important legal concepts and approaches, and shifts the perspective away reliance upon the dominant, usually western, forms in order to highlight their lack of objectivity, neutrality and inclusion.By problematising often familiar concepts such as the state, community, the subject, this module exposes students to radically different ways of thinking about the law, legal features, and legal practices. It calls on them to query the extent to which their understandings are informed by traditional European and western conceptions, at the expense of alternatives from the Global South or from Indigenous communities. It further allows for the exploration and critique of concepts often overlooked in discussions of social justice, notably emotions, key technologies, and sustainability. This blend of classic and new provides an exciting balance, and allows for a critical engagement that is both expansive and grounded. Importantly, this module does not just outline instances of social injustice, nor does it provide only abstracted theoretical perspectives. Instead, and drawing on interdisciplinary literature from legal, social, and criminological theory, broadly understood, this module provides and facilitates fresh approaches to longstanding issues of social justice through the provision of valuable critical tools.


On completion of this module, students will be aware of and have a clear understanding of:
- indigenous and critically informed approaches to social justice;
- the ways in which crucial legal mechanisms privilege European colonial ideologies;
- academic criticism of the different theories;
- the debates that have critically analysed the effectiveness of the differing social justice theories.

Learning outcomes
At the end of this module, a student should have:
- a sound understanding of the theoretical models and debates that have shaped colonial and decolonial approaches to social justice;
- a sound understanding of the development of these social justice models;
- an ability to critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of the different theories;
- an awareness of emerging theoretical models and debates.


The first seminar introduces the module objectives, content and expectations and a general overview of what is meant by social justice. The remaining seminars will focus on a range of issues that will depend on staff expertise and availability. They are likely to draw on the following list of topics that covers areas of current staff expertise:
What is the Law?
What is the State?
What is Legal Pluralism?
What is Community?
What are Rights?
What is a Legal Subject?
What are Emotions and why are they relevant to the Law?
What is Neutrality?
What is Sustainability?
What is Posthumanism?

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours135.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminars will be used to provide weekly formative feedback on student progress. There will also be the opportunity to get feedback on one 500 word essay plan.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayUp to 3,000 word essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 21/09/2022


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019