Optional course: Comparative Sexual Orientation Law

23 April to 25 May 2012

From Spring 2012 professor Kees Waaldijk will be teaching a new course: Comparative Sexual Orientation Law. The course looks at how homosexual behaviour, lesbian and gay individuals, and same-sex relationships are being treated in the laws of different countries and in the minimum standards of different international bodies. Issues of (de-)criminalisation, (anti-)discrimination, partnership and parenting will be discussed.

Students will learn how different aspects of sexual orientation are being ignored and/or recognized in national and international law. They will become familiar with the most important case law in the field, especially from the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee, but also from various national courts. Students will also do their own comparative legal research, and will write papers on four topics of sexual orientation law, each paper from a different possible professional perspective.

In 2012 the seminars and lectures of this 5 ECTS optional course will take place in the weeks of 23 April, 30 April and 21 May, at Leiden University's Campus in The Hague.

This course is primarily aimed at law students from many cities and many countries, but also students from other disciplines are very welcome. They must have completed at least one year of university education. Registration is free for students enrolled at any Dutch university (including exchange students). Others (including graduates working in the field) pay a fee.

Students can register between 26 March and 17 April, through uSis. Students enrolled at another Dutch university than Leiden must first obtain access to uSis, by submitting a form before 29 February 2012. That form, and much more information, can be found in the course description.

There will be various guest speakers in this course. On 23 April there will be an opening panel with three legal experts who have been writing on comparative and international sexual orientation law, and who have also been advising on cases and policies in the field: Allison Jernow (senior legal advisor, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Project, International Commission of Jurists, Geneva), Laurence Helfer (professor of international law at Duke Law School, USA), and Robert Wintemute (professor of human rights law at King's College London, England).

Since 2011 Kees Waaldijk is professor of comparative sexual orientation law at Leiden University (Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Campus The Hague). Students are invited to attend his inaugural lecture on Friday 20 April 2012 (in Leiden at 16:00 hrs). This lecture will mark the start of Europe's first chair in sexual orientation law.


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